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Police probe links between Ohio death row inmate and at least two cold case murders

Cold-case investigators in Ohio and Florida are looking into possible connections between a death row inmate and at least two unsolved murders and disappearances of women from 30 years ago. 

Roland ‘Rollie’ Davis, 68, is already facing capital punishment in Ohio for the 2000 murder and robbery of 86-year-old retired nurse Elizabeth Sheeler in Newark.

In November 2020, Davis was charged with the brutal rape and murder of Sharon Gill, 42, who was stabbed 39 times inside her home in Deep Creek, Florida, on March 21, 1990. The victim’s then-18-year-old daughter, Krista, discovered her mother’s lifeless body after returning home from school.

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Elizabeth Sheeler, 86

Roland ‘Rollie’ Davis, 68 (left), who is on death row in Ohio for the murder and robbery of Elizabeth Sheeler, 86 (right), a retired nurse, is being investigated in connection to cold cases in Florida 

Davis, pictured in a mugshot in 2020, is currently on death row in Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ross County, Ohio

Davis, pictured in a mugshot in 2020, is currently on death row in Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ross County, Ohio

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said new technology tied DNA found at the scene of the crime to Davis, who had done landscaping work at the victim’s home before the killing. He was 37 at the time. 

Gill had just moved with her daughter to Deep Creek and was to be joined by her husband, Percy Gill, after he finished work as a preacher in Detroit.  

‘If my dad was alive, he would be relieved,’ Krista Gill told Sun Port Charlotte in November. ‘We are relieved. Happy is not a word. Happy would be my mom and dad walking through the front door and meeting my kids. This is not happy.”’ 

In November, Davis was charged with the rape and murder of preacher's wife Sharon Gill, 42, who was stabbed 39 times inside her Deep Creek, Florida, home

In November, Davis was charged with the rape and murder of preacher’s wife Sharon Gill, 42, who was stabbed 39 times inside her Deep Creek, Florida, home

Davis’ record also includes a 2003 arrest in Ohio for the savage beating of a sex worker.

He was working as an ice cream vendor and picked up the prostitute in his vehicle. Cold Case Detective Kurt Mehl said the victim in that case would have been killed had she not escaped and called the police.

At the time of his arrest, Davis was discovered with the victim’s blood all over his pants and inside his ice cream truck.

Given the inmate’s history of violence towards women, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers are looking into any connections Davis may have to unsolved homicides or missing women from the 1980s and 90s.

‘Because Mr. Davis has been involved in at least two homicides and an attempted homicide of a prostitute in Columbus, Ohio, he is on our radar for unsolved cases of missing women or murdered women,’ Mehl said. ‘That would include reexamining any potential role he may have had here in Charlotte County.’

During a jailhouse interview with cold-case investigators, Davis was said to be ‘less than forthcoming’ with information.

Davis is pictured in a mugshot in 2004

Christine Flahive is believed to be dead

Davis (pictured in a mugshot in 2004, left) is being investigated in connection to the  1995 disappearance of Christine Flahive in Punta Gorda, Florida. The 43-year-old woman is believed to be dead

Authorities are taking another look at evidence in the missing person case of Christine Flahive, who was last seen alive in 1995 in Punta Gorda.

Flahive was 43 years old when she vanished without a trace on January 4, 1995, after leaving her home on a bicycle. Authorities believe she was heading to JD’s Lounge in downtown Punta Gorda, then to a mobile home in the area of Rollins Street, reported Wink News. 

As of January 2019 detectives started actively investigating the case as a homicide. They believe Flahive was killed in Charlotte County and buried there. Despite intensive searches, her remains have not been found.  

They are also trying to establish a connection between Davis and female skeletal remains that were discovered along US 41 in south Punta Gorda in 1980 and other unsolved cases in Lee County.

During the 1980s and 90s, Davis was said to favor the company of bikers and prostitutes, who knew him by the nicknames ‘Rollie’ and ‘Manson’

In 2003, he nearly killed a sex worker in Ohio (pictured in a mug from that time)

During the 1980s and 90s, Davis was said to favor the company of bikers and prostitutes, who knew him by the nicknames ‘Rollie’ and ‘Manson.’ In 2003, David nearly killed a sex worker in Ohio (pictured in a mug from that time, right)

Davis used to spend much of his time in the 80s and 90s at his mother's bar called the Mayfair Lounge in North Fort Myers, Florida (pictured), which has since closed

Davis used to spend much of his time in the 80s and 90s at his mother’s bar called the Mayfair Lounge in North Fort Myers, Florida (pictured), which has since closed 

Detectives said Davis was known to spend time at his mother’s bar called the Mayfair Lounge in North Fort Myers in the 1980s and 90s. The bar has since closed. He was said to favor the company of bikers and prostitutes, who knew him by the nicknames ‘Rollie’ and ‘Manson.’

Davis was in Southwest Florida, traveling from Ohio on and off between 1970 and 2004 and lived and worked in the Charlotte, Lee and Hendry county areas during this time period. 

Crime Stoppers is asking anyone with information on Davis’ relationships in the community during the 1980s through the 1990s to contact them at 1-800-780-TIPS.


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