TUSCUMBIA — The mood was a little different Wednesday morning around the clubhouse at Spring Creek Golf Course.
It was unusually quiet as people prepared to play a round of golf.
One of the course’s most loyal players was not there, though.
Elbert Farley “Possum” Davis Jr., instead, was in Huntsville Hospital, fighting for survival. It was a fight he would lose Wednesday afternoon, becoming a victim of an attack in his home.
“It was really sad around here; everyone is just in shock at what happened,” said golf course manager Denise Province.
She said Davis, for at least 25 years, had driven his golf cart from his house on High Street, across from the Deshler Middle School, to the golf course for a regular golf outing with friends.
“He came down here every day,” Province said. “There was a group that played every morning. He was the oldest in the group but he could hold his own with them.”
Davis, 88, was critically injured in a home invasion Tuesday night. He died before 4 p.m. Wednesday in Huntsville Hospital, Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan said.
Police are trying to find the person or people involved. They returned to Davis’ home Wednesday in search of clues, an effort that continued into the night.
Province saw her friend Tuesday morning and said everything was normal.
“I got here around 8 a.m. and he and some of the group were already out on the golf course,” she said. “He played 27 holes (of golf) Tuesday. I never imaged when he left it would be the last time I would see him.”
Logan said a friend found Davis lying unconscious in the basement just before
7 p.m. Tuesday.
Tuscumbia police investigator Sgt. Stuart Setliff said Davis suffered a fractured skull, according to doctors at Huntsville Hospital.
He said Davis was found at the bottom of the basement stairs, an area he used as a living room.
Logan said the 911 call came into police as a medical call.
“When officers got here, they found the body but also found where the back door had been forced open,” he said.
Police said the outside storm door was damaged and it appeared someone forcibly shoved open the back door to get inside the residence.
Logan said investigators believe robbery could be the motive behind the home invasion and attack.
Police said Davis was known to have some money with him all the time since he played golf every day. Setliff said Davis’ wallet is missing.
“His cellphone and keys were there, but not his wallet,” Logan said.
He said the last time anyone saw Davis on Tuesday was when he finished playing golf.
“The last time anyone talked with him was around 12:30 p.m.,” Logan said, adding Davis had a friend who he talked to every day at
“That was their routine,” Logan said. “They talked around noon and then around 4:30 each afternoon. After they talked at 12:30, his friend didn’t hear from him at 4:30 p.m. as normal. After more time passed without hearing from him, she became
Logan said the friend went to Davis’ house and found him.
Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents are assisting police in the investigation.
“We have an obligation to use all resources we have to help keep the public safe, and calling in the ABI is an effort to do that,” Logan said. “We don’t want to overlook anything in this case, and they are here to lend their expertise to the investigation.”
Logan said Davis was well known in Tuscumbia and his death has been devastating to many people.
“He was at First Baptist Church every Sunday,”
he said. “People loved him and thought highly of him.”
Province said Davis was full of life and showed his good nature all the time.
“He was such a good person, a joy to be around,” she said. “He would call people and if they didn’t answer, he would sing the ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ on their answering machine.
“I just hope they find out who did this. He didn’t deserve this; it’s just senseless.”
Anyone with any information about the incident
is asked to call police at 256-383-3121 or Shoals
Crime Stoppers at 256-386-8685.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.