Details of Disappearance Higgins was last seen in Spokane, Washington on September 20, 2010. She had been in the process of moving into a new apartment, and while she hospitalized, someone burglarized her old apartment on 10th and Cherry and stole the money she had saved for her rent deposit.
Higgins planned to pawn some jewelry and ask the bank for a loan so she could keep her rental agreement intact. She was on probation for driving under the influence and wasn't allowed to drive. A neighbor recommended she get a ride with Robert G. Davis. He picked her up in a blue minivan with fake wood paneling on the sides. She was carrying her purse and a backpack or duffel bag at the time.
Davis stated he dropped Higgins off at home later that day, but never actually saw her go inside the apartment building. She has never been heard from again.
Davis is a convicted felon with a history of sex crimes. In 2014, he broke into a trailer in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, sexually assaulted a woman there and choked her into unconsciousness twice before she was able to escape. In 2015, he was convicted of burglary and assault with attempted to commit rape and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. His earliest parole date is June 2018.
He is the prime suspect in the murder of 20-year-old Kala Williams, whose body was found in 2012, about two months after her disappearance. Police found Davis's DNA on Williams's body. He admitted he knew her but said he had nothing to do with her death.
Williams's body had been cut in half, one part was wrapped in a sleeping bag, and both parts were put into garbage bags. These bags were then covered with branches and debris. Her clothes, including her underclothes, had been cut open and had bleached poured on them. She had a towel knotted around her neck. She also had cuts suggestive of defensive wounds.
In spite of this, the medical examiner's office initially ruled that the manner of death was undetermined. The medical examiner thought she may have died of a methamphetamine overdose. The police ordered another medical review of the body, and a second medical expert found more than 60 wounds to the body not listed in the first report, and ruled the manner of death to be a homicide.
According to Davis's mother, he frequently used drugs and lived on street, and exhibited symptoms of mental illness. In 2010, he came to his mother, very upset, saying he "did something bad." He told his mother that two men had killed Higgins and forced him to dispose of her body, and that these men threatened to kill Davis's mother and sister if he ever told.
Davis said he put Higgins's body inside two sleeping bags and rolled it off a cliff somewhere north of Spokane on the way to a ski resort. His mother wasn't sure whether to believe him; she thought he might have imagined the episode while under the influence of drugs. She reached out to police about her son's story after she learned about Williams's death, and how part of her body had been wrapped in a sleeping bag.
Higgins left behind her car, wallet, keys, toothbrush and other belongings, as well as her pet cats. She graduated from Spokane Community College with honors, and was a journalism student at Eastern Washington University at the time of her disappearance.
She has two misdemeanor warrants out for her arrest, but authorities don't believe she's running from the law. Since she went missing, she hasn't used her cellular phone or accessed her bank account.
No charges have been filed in Williams's death or Higgins's disappearance, but Davis remains a suspect in both cases.
- Spokane Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 29, 2018; details of disappearance updated.