Mother had frantic search for her son

‘I don’t feel like this is real’

Omar Davis Jr. never wanted to be like his father.

But, like his father in 2013, he ended up the victim of a brutal murder in the most tragic of circumstances.

Police said the 21-year-old was found inside a garbage bag in the trunk of his black Honda Fit behind a grocery store in Centreville on Tuesday.

He had multiple wounds to his head, face and chest and his body was in the early stages of decomposition.

Chief Superintendent Michael Johnson said the wounds on Davis appear to have been made by a sharp object.

His murder left many saddened and angered, including many who had never met him.

A star student, Davis, who grew up in Kemp Road, was the valedictorian of C.I. Gibson Senior High School’s 2018 graduating class.

He graduated from Central State University in Ohio in May 2022 with a double degree in finance and accounting. At the end of May, he returned home.

His mother, Gia Whymns, said yesterday that her son, who was lovable, funny and intelligent, was set to start an internship at Deloitte in Atlanta, Georgia, at the end of the month.

She said that before she left home for work on Monday, she looked inside his room, as she had done ever since he came back home.

It was a habit she formed, checking in on her two boys before heading to work.

She said that was the last time she saw her son alive.

“I know Omar,” she said.

“Omar, his phone will never die. His phone don’t go with minutes and data. He’s always charging his phone. When … I was riding to work, I texted him.

“I asked him, ‘How much US you get?’

“I know he likes to carry US money to put on his US account.

“He said, ‘Mummy, I ain’t sure. I’ll let you know.’

“So, alright, I texted him again like one o’clock. I didn’t get no answer. I just get one tick. That ain’t him. So, I came home six o’clock and his brother came to me and said, ‘Mummy, I’ve been trying to reach Omar and he ain’t answering me. You know where he is?’

“I said, ‘I know where he is?’ I said, ‘I leave y’all two home.’

“From then, I kept trying to reach him. As it draw into night and I didn’t see no answer or nothing, I got worried because he don’t sleep out. If he sleeps out, he’ll let me know because he’d sleep by his aunty.

“He always answers. Don’t care who text or call him, you’ll see the blue tick or he’ll answer you. I knew something had to be wrong.

“I called the police stations. I called all the hospitals. I send people who work in the hospital to go look in A&E and everything.”

Whymns said she messaged her sister and asked if her son was there. He was not.

She spent most of the night peeking out her front window, looking for her son’s car, hoping he’d show up.

On Tuesday morning, Whymns, who had not slept much that night, called work and sent an email.

“[I told] them I can’t make it to work because I can’t function,” she said.

“I ain’t see my son come home yet. So, I just started riding. I went riding, looking. My family, I said in the group, I said, ‘Anybody see Omar?’.

“I say let’s do a little search and let’s ride around and see if we can find the car.”

She spent the entire day driving around the island on Tuesday looking for her son’s black Honda Fit.

“I was looking, calling, and still texting [him],” she said.

She tried to stay positive but, at times, fear took her, and she cried in the car several times, fearing the worst.

It was so unlike her son not to call or text her back, she said. “He never, ever don’t call me or WhatsApp me back,” Whymns said.

“If his phone dead, that charging in the next five to 10 minutes.”

Eventually, she heard the news she dreaded.

“I was riding around and Eyewitness News come online and I said, ‘What, black Fit?’ I sped there.”

Cameras caught the moment the family arrived at the scene. Two women walked into the lot where Davis’ car was parked. One woman slowly walked onto the scene. As she drew closer to the lot and saw the car, she fell to her knees.

After she left the scene, Whymns said, she paced inside her home.

“I was thinking and walking and thinking and walking,” she said.

“God must think I am built for battle. He take my son.”

She said her son was her best friend and she messaged him constantly.

“I don’t feel like this is real,” she said.

A bright future

In 2018, Davis was one of 162 public school students who were granted scholarships to attend college or university in the US or Canada through the Ministry of Education Public Schools Scholars Programme.

On social media, he had posted about graduating university with a 4.0.

His dream was to become a certified public accountant and start his own business, his mother said.

He also intended to go to graduate school.

He had a bright future ahead of him, Whymns said, one she could not have imagined.

“At age 16, I was pregnant with Omar and to see my son make it this far, all I had was hopes and dreams for him,” she said.

In a video that went viral Tuesday night, Davis, in a speech during the Ministry of Education’s Public Scholars Awards Ceremony in 2018, recalled the heartbreak he went through watching his father’s murder.

“My father was involved in some illegal business causing our door to be kicked down many nights by the police and me being interrogated by them,” he said on the podium as members of the audience looked on.

“I never let that affect the purpose of my life. Even though my father did bad things, I never once looked at him like he was a bad person.

“He would always say to me, ‘Short man, never be like me when you grow up.’

“My father was trying to make a living and I know what he was doing was wrong; therefore, I made it my goal to find another way, which was through education.

“He wanted me to be a lawyer but my passion lied within numbers. That’s why I selected finance as my major. My father was like my best friend. It is often said that all good things come to an end and in this case it was my father’s life. 

“On June 1, 2013, around 10 p.m., about nine gunshots went off, eight hitting my dad and one entering the house.

“My father was murdered right on my doorstep. Could you imagine your best friend being shot right in front of you? Watching him take his last breath left me heartbroken and scared. Sometimes when I close my eyes, I remember his lifeless body just lying there.

“I often had thoughts about dropping out of school or even doing drugs to calm my nerves, but his voice kept playing in my head, ‘Short man, never be like me when you grow up.’

“These words motivated me to be strong for my mummy and my brother, to strive for excellence and to do my best.”

He ended, “It isn’t where you start, but where you end.”

His mother said yesterday her son was ambitious and a leader.

She could not explain why he was so successful, but said he was determined to succeed.

“He knew what he wanted,” she said.

Davis was also the life of the party at family functions, something his mother said she will miss most about him.

“He touched a lot of people’s lives,” she said.

Whymns wants to know why her son was murdered.

“Why?” she asked. “Why they had to do that to him, beat him up like that?

“I never had to beat him. He don’t fight. He never fight. He never fight nobody. Why?

“I don’t care what he do or whatever, but why? Why did y’all have to kill him and beat him and [stab] him up or whatever y’all do? Why?”

Police said four men, between the ages of 20 and 56, were in custody in relation to the murder.

Whymns said her son will be buried on September 10 after a funeral at Pilgrim Baptist Church.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the news editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to news editor in January 2023.

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