The inside story of the mysterious disappearance of Levi Davis

Varndell was shocked when he saw the video. ‘His whole appearance, the way he was speaking, it didn’t make sense. He was talking about how this is a government and police conspiracy, and it was – wow, you’re really chucking out some big accusations there, mate. Why would the government and the police be concerned about Levi?’

Was he suffering from some sort of psychosis? ‘I’m struggling, because the person I would meet… wasn’t delusional. He was pretty sound in mind and body. But looking at the video, he doesn’t look like the same Levi I’d seen a month or two prior.’

Another old friend, anxious, called him on the day the video went up. Davis, he remembers, seemed ‘a bit lost’. The friend offered to put him up when he returned to England and Davis replied with a voice note to say he would like to come ‘to figure things out. He never once mentioned Barcelona.’

What happened in Ibiza

On 3 October, before leaving England for Ibiza, Levi had opened an account on the subscription site OnlyFans. His profile, under the name ManDavis, featured a picture of him lying back on a sofa, naked but for a strategically placed pair of boxing gloves. The day before he disappeared, he posted: ‘My first nudes’, with the tagline: ‘Everybody knows the bio is where things get sticky, take a look and see what else you can find.’

Posting on OnlyFans, Squire would later explain to a British newspaper, was something Davis was ‘inspired [to do] by other well-known people who have gone down the same route’.

But to those close to Davis, the move seemed to be ‘desperate and out of character’, not least given that the release of his next single was imminent. ‘He was intelligent enough to understand this would affect his music success, which meant the world to him,’ one friend says. ‘Levi had a strong sense of right and wrong, and whilst he didn’t always make the right choices he did not want to hurt those he cared about in any way. He could however be influenced by people around him which didn’t always result in the best outcomes.’

Davis had also joined the gay dating app Grindr. On the day of posting his first nude pictures on OnlyFans he told Squire he had arranged to meet someone that evening in a restaurant in Ibiza Town. Squire later told the BBC he drove Davis to the restaurant. It was the last time he would see him.

Squire declined to talk to The Telegraph. 

Who Davis met, or if he met anyone at all, is not known. But at 3am he contacted a friend in England. The friend tried calling him back but later that morning Davis rang to say he was on the ferry to Barcelona.

He left Ibiza taking only a small backpack and some €40, leaving behind his suitcase, clothes and his laptop. ‘That’s not Levi,’ says one friend. ‘He was terrible at packing, but he’d always take loads with him.’ For Davis, Varndell says, his laptop ‘was like a priest’s Bible. He would take that with him everywhere. I remember once when he left it in London and he asked me to get it and take it back to Birmingham. He had everything on there – there are so many things here that don’t make sense.’ 

If Davis had arranged an assignation in Barcelona it seems unlikely it would have been purely for casual fun; Ibiza would have offered an abundance of choice. More likely is that he was lured there by a promise of something else. 

But the fact that he apparently left Ibiza in a hurry, leaving his possessions behind, begs another question. Was Davis running towards something, or away from it?

A ferry ride to Barcelona

Squire told the BBC that when Davis failed to return from Ibiza town that morning he messaged to ask where he was. Davis replied that he had left the island and was on his way to Barcelona ‘to see some mates’.

The ferry journey from Ibiza to Barcelona takes some eight and a half hours. Davis sent a short video to his mother, smiling and pointing out the view from the deck. ‘Look Mum,’ he says, ‘it’s beautiful’…  the rest of his words blown away in the stiff breeze. 

Arriving in Barcelona, he made his way to La Rambla, the city’s tourist and entertainment hub, lined with bars and restaurants, stopping at The Old Irish Pub. According to the bartender who served him, he sat at a table near the front door, drinking a pint of Heinken and watching a Liverpool v Leeds match. He posted a video to his mother of a band playing on stage.

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