District Attorney says office will re-examine death of Bald Head Island police officer

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Submitted: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 3:56am
Updated: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 3:03pm

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — More than a decade after the death of Bald Head Island Police Officer, Davina Buff Jones, the case has been reopened. District Attorney Jon David decided today that there was more to the story.

The DA at the time, Rex Gore, dismissed the case as a suicide. But Jones’ father, Loy Buff says he knows his daughter was murdered and that Gore was covering up what really happened that October night in 1999.

“I often hear about people talking about closure,” said Buff. “I don’t feel like it’s come.”

Though its been several years since his daughter’s death, Buff remembers that night like it was yesterday.

“It was a full moon,” recalls Buff. “Of course, she worked the night shift. She went to work on the six o’clock ferry.”

33-year- old Jones never made it off Bald Head Island that night. Her body was found near the lighthouse with a gunshot to the back of her head. The shot came from her service handgun while she was on patrol.

“Somebody got the scenario started that she committed suicide, but we proved in court that it’s kind of difficult to shoot yourself in the back of the head from an up and in angle,” said Buff.

Around the time she was shot, Brunswick County dispatchers overheard Jones asking someone to put down a gun.

“The last thing she said was, ‘come on guys,’ and then they killed her,” said Buff.

At four different court hearings over financial benefits, Jones’ death was ruled a homicide. But despite the evidence, District Attorney Rex Gore insisted that Jones had taken her own life.

Buff says his daughter’s case was botched and the good ol boy network was responsible.

“They wanted to cover up her murder on Bald Head Island,” said Buff. “Those people didn’t want a police officer getting killed. There’s no drugs over there. My goodness, what a thing that might do to their real estate business or something.”

Buff says he hasn’t stopped fighting for his daughter’s case. After many conversations with Jon David, the newly elected District Attorney, David has said the case will be re-opened.

“There’s some gratification from showing what despicable authorities were there that would do my heart good,” said Buff.


  • looking for justice says:

    I just finished reading the some of the information regarding this case on the internet. All I can say is WOW!! I feel that she was murdered for what she either knew or saw regarding drug smuggling. When all of this story comes to light…and I hope it does, I bet there will be ALOT of “elected officials” involved. I just hope that the evidence doesn’t somehow mysteriously disappear in the upcoming days,weeks,months. This whole story reeks “foul play”. They say the root of all evil is the love of money, and drugs at this level would involve massive amounts of money and power. I get the impression from the information that was given that sheriffs officers, BHI employees, BHI landowners and a whole slew of other people must have been “in” on this because of the lengths that were gone to to cover up this murder. I hope that this case does get resolved and that Davina gets her much deserved justice! This will be the story of all stories!! PLEASE keep us posted WWAY!

  • pll, says:

    My mom worked with her on Bald Head before Ms Jones got shot, I’ve heard the stories about how everyone in the court system thinks she killed herself. I honestly think she was murdered and I’m glad he opened the case again. I hope she can get the justice she deserves. I know if she does my mom will be happy. She and Ms Jones were friends while they worked together. My mom always told me the stories about her. For her family, you’ll always have my familys support.

  • Uncle Reality says:

    Since the BC good ol’ boy network sold him down the river, he may be in the mood to finally tell the truth and return the favor. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this officer was murdered.

  • elaine says:

    How dare you make such a statement! Do you have a crystal ball or did you use tarot cards to make such a blanket remark? The waste has been continuing for 11 years. Do please tell me on what you are basing this remark. … And sorry for you is a fitting word.

  • legaleagle says:

    This is absoultely NOT a waste of taxpayers’ money. I am a taxpayer in Brunswick county, and I wholeheartedly wish for my money to be used for this family to get justice. I had just graduated from college with a degree in legal studies and moved here when this tragedy occurred. I had a close friend that was a police officer that went to BLET with Ms. Jones. He told me that the crime was a huge coverup at the time. His comment prompted me to do my own research, and I was shocked by the way law enforcement handled everything. This case has always bothered me and I have always prayed that the truth would come out, although I didn’t have much faith. I commend this family for continuing to fight for justice for her. I will continue to pray for them. Thank you, Mr. David. Again you have affirmed why I voted for you. It’s been a long time coming.

  • Guest12 says:

    This is going to be a waste of tax payers money.. Sorry

  • Guest12 says:

    Elaine this comment is not how you should have taken it. There are so many corrupt individuals here in BC that I dont feel like Davina will get the justice that she deserves or will ever get.

  • elaine says:

    Then I am sorry and I apologize. However, now that someone like Jon David is in office, we are so hopeful we can get at least her cause of death changed so we can get her name on the Wall of Honor in DC and be able to join the other families for ceremonies appreciating their ultimate sacrifice.

  • sean says:

    i dont think she did it her self she was happy to be in the police acadamy and working with bald head island i ws in BLET with her

  • sean says:

    u helped me out in the class and i nedver got to say thank you and u did a well job will miss u like allways DEE

  • sean says:

    the need to check in Ron hewitte and the ex DA and check all the convictions and see what they come up with i know some Sherriff ron hewitte was not doing his job but him and rex gore just said it happened and my friend got over 25 years

  • juliemc says:

    This is obviously a cover up and my daughter was wanting to work on BHI this summer and I am going to make her read the book before she does. I pray you get justice for Dee as it is way overdue. I hope someone will come forward with new information to finally get the justice you all have been waiting and praying for. Good luck to the family its way past time for closure.

  • RIchard Bunce says:

    Thank You Jon David.

  • Thank you to the new DA of Brunswick County!!!! If people will read the book about Ms. Jones’ murder, yes I said murder, they will realize it was not suicide. Wonder how many current BCSO officers were there that night and knows what happened, just read the book and notice the names that are mentioned. Davina is smiling down on everyone now, waiting for the truth to be known!!!!!!

    I commend the Buff family for being persistent and not giving up!!! I love you guys.

  • DBS says:

    My brother who just passed away this month from a 2 year battle with cancer was a Law Enforcement Officer for 2 different departments in NC for around 15 years. He finally got out of it because of ALL the CORRUPTION in these departments. He loved it BUT knew he couldn’t beat it so he got out of it. He even had an incident with LPD a couple of years ago and that situation was also SWEPT UNDER THE RUG. He and his wife were almost hit head on by 2 LPD officers playing around on Lanvale. After going to the chief with NO satisfaction, he then sent emails to Mayor Futch and the Town Council with no response, so the corruption is called ALL GOVERNMENT PERIOD!!
    I pray the TRUTH comes out to clear Davina’s name and reputation!!
    God Bless!!

  • I believe that there are also others that were employed and still employed by the BCSO maybe some in higher ranking positions that were on Bald Head the night of the murder helping the investigation. Also, how about the Doctor on call at the hospital that also calls Davina’s death a suicide, whereas a coroner in Jacksonville, disagreed.

    Its time for JUSTICE to be served and Davina to be recognized for being a heroic POLICE WOMAN in trying to stop a drug deal during the line of duty.

  • elaine says:

    I am always interested in what you say on here on a variety of topics, that’s why I am certainly asking for support. There is much that is still missing, left in the hands of law enforcement who played with where is the case open, where is it closed. Murder materials such as the gun was put back into action and then tried to be sold. Believe me when I say there has been a lot uncovered that those who did this never thought would see the light of day. What is the popular saying? What goes on in the dark comes to the light. Let us pray for that to happen, my friend.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    why in the world was the SBI not brought into this case. They may have had a botched up DNA department for a while; but they have some fine investigators in Raleigh.

    I can not speak for the former Attorney General, but, Roy Cooper does listen and will act. Has the family ever approached him directly and requested an independant investigation?

  • elaine says:

    In the book “Out With Three” there is a conga line of folks the family has contacted over time. Nobody would do anything. Also, the Atty. General from that time went on to a higher position in Raleigh where his power included having the state decision made concering death benefits being appealled – something that raised eyebrows and brought strong words in fed. court later. Not very subtle. We even contacted a state senator (from out of this area). When he tried to intervene on our behalf, he was quickly told to “leave it alone.”

    The SBI’s handling of the case continues to be something of a puzzle. I’m sure there are good officers there, but all that handled her case were under the thumb of someone in Raleigh to the point of mislabeling materials sent in to the lab, not including everything needed for testing at the lab, misrepresenting through drawings scenes of the crime scene, calling back from the autopsy to pronounce her death a suicide BEFORE the autopsy actually STARTED. The last contact I had with the SBI concerning this case was a year or so back when I was directed by people in Raleigh to contact SBI folks in Wilmington for help. For help, the gentleman declared that he thought the BCSO had done a good job and there was no reason to go any further. I refused to turn over any case materials to him. When the SBI was supposed to question the three Hispanics who were there on BHI that night, they never did talk directly to the men (who had rap sheets at that time of over 60 pages – one of them had already been deported and was back). They talked to the men’s employer in Charlotte. He said they were nice people. End of search.

    I don’t trust anybody in Raleigh. Period. They, including Reps I have contacted, don’t want to touch it. They won’t have to now. At one frustrated point, I started telling those I contacted that if you refuse to help in the case of a murdered police officer, I will assume you are either one just like those who murdered her or you are without a backbone. We have a lot of folks in places across this state who are moving around without one. I do appreciate the thought about Cooper, but everybody in Raleigh and more places than I can say turned their back on not only my sister, but every other Honest policeman who goes on patrol every day.

  • elaine says:

    The “Out With Three” comment refers to the book written about what happened the night my sister was killed. Mr. David already has the information he needs to reopen this case. He would not has done so otherwise. My family needs support – we’ve suffered 11 years. We don’t need naysayers making snide remarks. To not like Mr. David or his brother is one thing, to try to diminish what he is trying to do is another. I would like for you to join behind the family.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    one thing I am not is a naysayer.

    An unidentified poster noted there was much still not covered. Rather consistently, I call upon such posters to hurry to the local law enforcement office or the DA’s office with their insider information to assist in the investigation.

    Hardly a naysayer attitude. And nowhere did I denigrate the Family or the efforts of the DA.

  • 8675309 says:

    I have followed this story since it happened, talked with certain in the know individuals about it and have stayed on BHI on many occasions.

    Somethink stinks to high heaven and wreeks of a cover-up IMO.

    Body was moved, crime scene washed down against orders….

    “she had made a report of seeing drugs being loaded into an out building of a high-ranking North Carolina official just a week before her death. No sign of that report has ever been found”.

    This is far more than gross incompetence. Big money owns and rules that island and this world…Who was the Sheriff at that time and where did he wind up? Who in Raleigh had ties to Southport? HMMM

  • Guest111 says:

    I’m glad they are going to investigate this again. I never believed she did this. Thank you Mr. David.

  • This investigation is riddled with allegations of corruption and mis management. Right from Then Sheriff Hewlett up to the Govnors mansion. Money can buy anything and Baldhead Island certainly did so. Malfeasance and Misfeasance are in the forefront starting with the sheriffs department, the DA’s office,and the SBI. To cover up the murder of a Police Officer by those sworn to uphold the law in the ultimate crime and betrayal.To stubbornly maintain that posture when proven wrong by a state hearing on accidental death is pure arrogance. CAnnot find the person who order the crime scene destroyed by the fire department? If thats the case then you probably cannot find a drunk in a bar after a NASCAR race.

  • Guest30 says:

    We’ve waited a long time for this!

  • Guest757 says:

    Thank you DA David. The way the case was handled from the start made no sense.. It’s about time some one in Brunswick County is standing up to them… As the “Good Ole Boy” network falls…

  • sean says:

    that is so true and local law enforcement officers know what they was doing and also the BCSO knows its sad to cover up something so no one will get cought

  • Guestofwway says:

    She saw something shw wasn’t suppossed to that night she died….cocaine smuggling, gun smuggling? it has stunk for years…..will the truth EVER come out? hope so….

  • GuestLee says:

    I’m so glad to hear this! I never thought this case was handled correctly!

  • elaine says:

    This is National Police Week. We just passed the ceremonies in DC and in Shallotte to honor police who have been killed in the line of duty. My sister has missed being included for the past 11 years. What a wonderful way to celebrate this week. Mr. David, my family and I have no adequate words to express our thanks to you for being willing to stand up to what has been called ‘justice’ heretofore, not only for us, but for other families.

    My sister did not kill herself. She would never have left her family, but especially her dogs; they were the loves of her life. I know that she is dancing for joy in Heaven. I know we are here. Please be careful on the road and with your car. The last DA who tried to change things ended up in a car ‘accident.’ I certainly have seen how the ‘good ole boys and girls’ have come against you in the last few weeks. Hold your head up. We know who put you into office: people like my family who have suffered enough from a DA who said he was in office, not to support the people but to support ‘this thing called the state.’ Sorry. We need a DA who is here to support the people, not the state. My family has been fighting not only the former DA but organizers of the local events to honor those fallen. It feels so good to know we are not alone in our fight any more. God bless you. My sister Davina can’t thank you. But I can.

  • 8675309 says:

    Jones recognized a drug problem and was vocal about it. We’re not talking about street level stuff either. The ocean inlet runs right beside BHI. “Out with Three”?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    it appears you have inside information or local details. Can we trust you will be in Mrthe DA’s office tomorrow to give him the benefit of your information?

  • Guest421 says:

    Seems as Mr. David is going to do what should have been done before. This case, in my opinion, was swept under the rug, possibly because BHI did not want the bad publicity. They cleaned up the crime scene almost immediately by hosing it down, as I understand so that a wedding could proceed as scheduled. If this had happened anywhere else, would this have happened? I suspect there would have been a much more lengthy investigation.

  • CJ says:

    It was swept under the rug. My friend was an employee and was not “allowed to discuss with the tourists.” No one there wants bad publicity…unfortunately at the expense of not bringing this to justice for her family. Very sad.

  • Guest333 says:

    You are to be commended!

    You are a Shining Star!

    I shall keep you in my prayers daily…

    To continue to be a trailblazer and never to falter!

    Your brother is the same in NH County.

    We love you both!

    So, keep your stiff upper lips, you rock!

    Now, Let’s Roll, My Brothers!!!

  • elaine says:

    CJ , please accept the family’s thanks for saying that online. We have known for a long time that employees there were placed under a gag order about her death. Even now, we can’t put a flower or anything where she died. It is always snatched up and destroyed. We had to fight to get a badge (something usually awarded the family). An officer from out of state was instrumental in helping get one from them about two years ago. The BHI people never even so much as sent a flower to the funeral. I hope this ends up giving that island more publicity than they ever wanted. And thanks again. This family has been made out to be ‘insane’ or ‘ranting’ or having loose screws for a long time. I’ve even been told employees had to sign a paper saying they would not talk under threat of dismissal. Seems like over kill for a ‘suicide’.

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