Gracie Nell Nash

Nash, circa 1983; John Davis; Naomi Easley

  • Missing Since 12/26/1983
  • Missing From Austin, Texas
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 04/30/1944 (80)
  • Age 39 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 112 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A white nurse's uniform and a gray coat with a large fur collar.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Green and white 1971 Chevrolet with the Texas license plate number PPT621 (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Nash wears a full set of dentures. Her ears are pierced. Her maiden name is Davis.

Details of Disappearance

Nash's disappearance from Austin, Texas on December 26, 1983 was one of a string of crimes that happened to her family over the course of ten months in 1983-1984.

The family's trouble began in May 1983, after her brother, Melvin Douglas "Butch" Davis, broke up with his girlfriend, Naomi Easley. A photo of her is posted with this case summary.

After Melvin ended the relationship, Easley tried to get him fired from his job and threatened him with a gun several times over the summer, and he personally disarmed her twice. At one point, the police were called in response to one of her threats and confiscated her gun and butcher knife, and placed her under a peace bond.

Melvin shared his house in the 7600 block of Blessing Avenue with his oldest brother, John Henry Davis Jr. They had lived together for fifteen years. Their house was burglarized after Melvin broke up with Easley, and someone slashed the tires of John's race car and the tires of the trailer used to haul the car.

At one point, John came home from work and found someone had broken into his house, slashed all his clothes and tried to set a fire in his bedroom. Another time, Melvin caught Easley pouring sugar and syrup into the gas tank of his car. In August 1983, the garage behind the brothers' house was set on fire, which destroyed John's 1965 Chevrolet Nova race car.

On October 30, their brother Ronnie went to Melvin and John's house while the men were out, and realized someone was inside it. He backed out the front door and was walking towards his car when someone fired three shots at him, all of which missed.

At 8:20 p.m. on November 18, as Melvin was leaving his house and walking towards his car, Easley approached him and shot him, striking him in the wrist and breaking his arm. She was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but quickly bailed out of jail. On November 21, as John was leaving the house at dawn to go to work, someone fired several shots at him and missed.

The day after Christmas, Nash disappeared after leaving her place of employment, the Eastfair Nursing Home in the 2800 block of east Martin Luther King Boulevard in Austin, Texas, after finishing her shift at 11:00 p.m. on December 26, 1983.

It was a bitterly cold day and there was ice on the roads, and one of Nash's sisters suggested she leave early, but she left at the usual time. She never arrived at the Manor, Texas home she shared with her parents and two younger siblings, and has never been heard from again. Her necklace was later found in the parking lot of the nursing home.

The morning after Nash was last seen, her mother got an anonymous phone call where a muffled voice said, "If you want to see your daughter alive again, tell your son to drop charges against the woman." This was presumably a reference to the pending assault case against Easley. The caller then hung up and has never been identified.

Nash's green and white 1971 Chevrolet with the Texas license plate number PPT621 was found abandoned in the parking lot of New Manor Apartments in the 2200 block of east 22nd Street, near Maple, two days after her disappearance. Nash's coat was inside the vehicle, and there were signs of a "very violent assault", including large amounts of dried blood. Authorities stated it looked someone had been shot, and that whoever's blood it was could not have survived their injuries.

According to her family, Nash didn't go to bars or use drugs, got along with everyone and was never in any trouble. Her boss said she'd worked at the nursing home for nearly ten years and was a good employee. She is the fourth of seventeen children in the family, married young, had two children and subsequently divorced. She did have a steady boyfriend at the time of her disappearance; her family doesn't believe he was involved in her case.

Six weeks after Nash went missing, early on the morning of February 3, 1984, her brother John was shot to death outside his home as he was walking to his car to go to work. Melvin, who lived with John, had spent the night away from home. Easley was questioned after the shooting, but not arrested.

In March 1984, she went to trial in the November 1983 shooting of Melvin. He testified against her, but was not permitted to speak about the disappearance of his sister or the murder of his brother. In Easley's testimony, she admitted to having threatened him with a gun and knife and to slashing his tires and trying to get him fired. She denied having shot him on November 18, however, claiming she was at home at the time.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict; of the nine that wanted to convict her, three wanted to convict her of attempted murder and six of aggravated assault. A mistrial was declared. Easley wound up pleading no contest to aggravated assault and was sentenced to ten years' probation.

In November 1989, Easley (now known by her married name of Naomi Easley Moore) shot her estranged husband five times, including once in the head and twice in the chest, at his Austin home. They had been in the process of a divorce.

He identified her as his attacker shortly before he died at the hospital, and she was charged with murder. Melvin Davis testified against her at the murder trial, during which the prosecution called her "extremely dangerous." She is currently incarcerated, serving a 75-year sentence.

It should be emphasized that Easley has not been charged in connection with Nash's disappearance or her brother's murder. Both cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Austin Police Department 512-974-8643

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 22, 2019; middle name added, details of disappearance updated.