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Unsolved Cbus: The strange case of Tyler Davis, who vanished on a walk in 2019

Unsolved Cbus: The strange case of Tyler Davis, who vanished on a walk in 2019

John M. Clark

Five years ago, Tyler Davis told his wife he was going for a walk.  He hasn’t been seen since.  And Columbus Police, who receive about 100 missing persons reports every week, say this case is especially perplexing.

It was February 23rd, 2019.  Brittany and Tyler Davis of Wilmington, Ohio, about 60 miles southwest of Columbus, were celebrating Brittany’s 23rd birthday.  The couple had made plans to spend the weekend at Easton Town Center – shopping, dining, even booking a couples’ massage.

The parents of a one-year-old seldom found time to be alone together, and they planned, this time, to make the best of every moment.  They dropped their son off with Tyler’s parents and then made the hour-and-a-half drive to the Hilton at 3900 Chagrin Dr., where they had a room waiting for them.  Brittany says they checked in about 5 p.m.

A short time later, a friend of theirs from Columbus joined them in their room and, after a few hours of talking and reminiscing, they decided to have dinner and check out some of the stores.  It was Brittany’s first time in that area of Columbus, and she wanted to get to know the place a little before spending the next day shopping and checking out the entertainment venues.


It was a long evening, and about 3 a.m., the three took an Uber back to the Hilton.  To hear Brittany tell it, Tyler seemed a little anxious … even confused.  He said he wanted to take a walk.  Brittany offered to accompany him, but their friend went with him, instead.  Brittany returned to their room to charge her phone.

Thirty minutes later, the 29-year-old Tyler phoned his wife to say he would be right back.  Shortly after this, the couple’s friend returned to the hotel, but Tyler was not with him.  It’s unclear why the two separated or at what point.

This is when Brittany’s nightmare began to unfold.  She was worried about her husband, but held onto the hope that he would return soon.  At 4:10, about an hour after Tyler had left, Brittany’s phone rang again.  It was Tyler.  “I see the hotel,” she recalled him saying.  “I’m walking through the woods.  I’ll be right there.”

Brittany has maintained that Tyler was not an outdoorsman, and that to him, the “woods” could have meant “two trees right beside each other.”  She was also concerned that he still sounded “so confused.”

Seconds later, Brittany’s phone showed that Tyler was calling again.  But there was only silence at the other end.  After four seconds, the connection was lost.  She tried calling him back, but his phone was off.  And as she explains, “it has been off ever since.”

At 4:30, the Davis’ friend, who lived only about 10 minutes away, decided to go home.  Brittany said she began to have a bad feeling about the situation and started calling friends and relatives for advice.  As the sun began to rise, she phoned an old roommate who lived in Columbus, and the two began searching for Tyler.  Nothing.

Next, she called her in-laws.  And about 10:30 a.m., she called the Columbus Police Department to report her husband missing.

In the years since, many theories have surfaced as to what might have happened to Tyler Davis.  On social media, many have speculated that he succumbed to hypothermia, or that he fell into an icy swamp or pond.

But police say they conducted as thorough a search as possible, including helicopter pilots to look from above and specially trained divers to check out every nearby body of water.  “We spent two weeks with every resource we had available, including dogs,” said a police detective who was part of the initial investigation.

Tips about Tyler’s disappearance began fading about one-and-a-half years later.  And on December 15, 2021, a judge in Clinton County declared him legally dead.

But neither time nor the death declaration has brought closure to wife Brittany.  Left alone to raise the couple’s young son, she’s still as clueless about her husband’s disappearance as she was on that chilly night five years ago.  

If you have any information about Tyler Davis’ disappearance, you are encouraged to call the Columbus Police Department at 614-645-4545.

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