CHARLOTTE — The boyfriend of a missing 21-year-old Charlotte woman has been charged with murder, police said.
Authorities said Denee Rawls was last seen leaving her home near Robur Court on Nov. 22, but did not return home. Her family became worried about her safety and reported her missing two days later.
On Monday, officers said they found Rawls’ body near where Harrisburg Road crosses railroad tracks in east Charlotte.
Investigators said they determined her boyfriend, Nicholas Davis, 21, was the suspect in her death. Early Tuesday, police found Davis, arrested him and charged him with murder.
Davis faced a judge Wednesday morning.
Police have not yet shared information about the days Rawls was missing, but Channel 9 learned Davis was involved in a relationship last year that turned violent.
That time, his ex-girlfriend told police he fired a pistol into the air, putting her and neighbors in danger.
Police arrested Davis and his girlfriend and in October, prosecutors dismissed the charges for lack of evidence. They said they couldn’t prove the case in court.
There is no evidence to suggests Rawls knew any of that when she started dating Davis, but experts said it’s important for women to watch for warning signs of violence when they get into a relationship.
>>If you or a loved one is in a domestic violence situation, call the hotline: 980-771-4673. You can also reach out to Safe Alliance by clicking here.
“I often tell survivors that abuse escalates over time,” said Tabitha Lane with Safe Alliance. “It doesn’t get better.”
Lane works with victims of domestic violence in court and said a pattern of violence rarely changes.
“A different relationship is not going to change those behaviors,” Lane said. “They’re still going to get worse over time.”
Davis’ appearance in court was brief. The judge did not set a bond and he will stay in jail until he at least enters a plea in the case, which would happen months into the future.
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