Julie Gwenn Davis, formerly known as "Princess Blue", (October 19, 1968 - c. March 6, 1989) was a young adult whose skeletal remains were found at the side of a dead-end road in Manvel, Texas in 1990. She was known by her nickname due to a blue stoned 1975 class ring she wore, which is believed to have been a gift.
She was identified on June 17th, 2020.
On September 10, 1990, at approximately 5 p.m, a man traveling along Highway 288 near to Manvel, Texas had pulled over to the side of Brazoria County Road in order to relieve himself. The man had noticed a pile of debris, investigating further, he had stepped behind a barricade, and had discovered what was a human skull sitting inside of a tire, with the rest of her disarticulated skeleton laying underneath.
The location of her remains was a dead-end road in a sparsely populated area, which would have been ideal to conceal human remains. There was no nearby clothing or hair located at the crime scene or in close proximity, but she was wearing many pieces of jewellery on three of her fingers and wrist, including a 1975 class ring from Robert E. Lee High School. As it is believed she died a year or less before her discovery, it is assumed this ring was a gift from an older companion or relative. A detective had taken the jewelry and placed in an evidence envelope.
Since Brazoria County had no medical examiner in 1990, the autopsy was conducted by Dr. Eduardo Bellas with the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office. The autopsy, performed the day after the bones were discovered, did not reveal much: an upper left front tooth that had been surgically removed; two fractured ribs; and a "defect" on a bone beneath her left knee. No traces of opiates were found in her bone marrow. Bellas concluded she was Hispanic and had estimated her age to be between 15 and 19, her height at 4'8" to 5'2". He could not determine the cause or manner of her death, but foul play is most likely suspected based on her circumstances of discovery.
When the report was finalized a week later, the rings and bracelet had gotten a brief mention: "Some property (jewelry) was recovered at the scene with the skeletal remains."
According to a brief Houston Chronicle article that ran three days later, Tolson characterized the girl as Hispanic and/or White. He said she had “knee problems”, and that she wore a silver ring with a turquoise unicorn on her right hand and a beaded bracelet on her right wrist.
In August 2006, a detective reopened the case file, discovering the class ring and other pieces of jewelry, which previous detectives had not been aware of. DNA advances had disputed the previous speculation she was of Hispanic descent or White with a Hispanic admixture. Testing indicated she was instead White, but someone with African DNA had recently entered into her family, which was most likely a parent or grandparent. It was also discovered that the female could have been as old as 21.
A sketch was created soon afterward by a Manvel police department sketch artist; this might still be inaccurate. Manvel authorities interviewed dozens of Robert E. Lee High School alumni, yet nobody recognized her. Authorities are still looking to speak with alumni that lost or gave away a ring before 1990 similar to the one found.
In June 2007, the sketches were released to television stations and newspapers throughout Texas. Many leads came in, but eventually, none had the answer to the identity of her or her killer. In July of the same year, Authorities had started to suspect that serial killer Roy Alan Stuart, was responsible for Princess Blue’s death, based on his presence in towns where females of a similar age bracket disappeared. Princess Blue’s time of death fits in with his time-spans. Stuart refused to cooperate with authorities, and falsely stated he was in prison in 1989 and 1990. He said he hadn’t recognized the sketches, and he had been innocent after his release. He is, however, no longer a person of interest in the case.
In November of 2019, a Texas news station by the name of “ABC13” had decided to cover the case in order to most likely generate new leads by giving out new information. The following details were revealed:
- She was of mixed ancestry and had been described to have a Black parent or grandparent, but it was narrowed down to be on her maternal side.
- The Manvel Police Department had sent her remains to a lab in Austin, Texas for DNA phenotyping, in order to get a more accurate reconstruction of how she appeared in life. She was identified before this testing could be completed.
Danny Davis of Orange, Texas, had just given his DNA to a Texas Ranger, in hopes of finding his sister, Julie Davis, who went had went missing at the age of 16, 33 years ago. The Texas Ranger was investigating the possibility Julie might have been a missing woman found dead in another part of the state. But when Danny's DNA went into the state database, it matched Princess Blue's DNA. Investigators say with 99.9% certainty, Princess Blue is Julie Davis.
Davis stated he had never heard of the Princess Blue case, and never tried to connect the dots. also stating "I wouldn't have believed it's her if that detective didn't tell me the DNA matched."
It was asked by a news station if Julie could have had any connection to Houston or to Robert E. Lee High School. "I just found out last night from my sister, Shelly, that Shelly met Julie's husband at one point, years back, and she said he was from Houston," Danny said.
Danny believes Julie got married at 18, shortly after she left home and headed for New Orleans. Danny was 17 years old at the time.
"That's the last thing I remember of her, her giving me a hug, telling me she loved me, and she broke down in tears and walked away, and that's the last time I saw her," Danny said.
Police are now looking to Danny and Julie's four other siblings for help in the investigation, as they still do not know the connection between Julie and the class ring.
Julie's parents both passed away never knowing what happened to their daughter. But Manvel police have met with Julie's brothers and sisters. Danny says he's in the process of trying to get Julie's remains back to their home in Orange to give Julie the burial she deserves.
- She had several untreated cavities.
- She had two amalgam fillings in her teeth.
- An upper left tooth was surgically removed at some point in her life.
- She may have had a benign tumor beneath her left leg.
- There were no traceable drugs in her system.
- Two of her ribs were fractured.
- It is unknown if this was related to her death.
- An inexpensive metal class ring from Robert E. Lee High School (later renamed as Margaret Long Wisdom High School) with a sapphire-colored stone in the shape of a circle in the middle that was dated for 1975.
- Because of the decedent's age, it is believed this ring originally belonged to an older companion or relative, most likely a female decedent due to its original size.
- The letter “L” was inlaid into the ring, which was a choice for students to have inlaid on the ring. It stood for ”Lee”, but it is possible that this may have been hand-carved into the ring afterwards. The ring was originally a 7.5 size but had been up-sized twice to a 9.5 size, which would have erased any engravings in the ring band.
- A silver ring with a scroll design.
- A silver ring with a turquoise stone in a unicorn or horse shape.
- A gold ring with six clear stones.
- Two silver rings. (Note that both rings were described as almost identical to one other.)
- A pearl-beaded bracelet.
- Although not specified by name, an episode of The FBI Files implied Princess Blue was speculated to be a potential match with Melissa Brannen, although she was quickly ruled out.
- The case was detailed on the series premiere of Unsolved in 2019.