Posted: 7:35 p.m. Monday, May 5, 2014

Father of missing Oakland toddler commits suicide

Daphne Webb
Oakland Police Department
Daphne Webb

By Claudine Wong

OAKLAND, Calif. —

For the last ten months the search has continued for missing toddler, Daphne Webb.  

Her grandfather says he always believed Daphne’s father knew more than what he was saying, but now fears John Anthony Webb has taken those answers with him to the grave.

Family members confirm Webb committed suicide on Friday in the Oakland home where he once lived with Daphne and his mother.   Daphne’s maternal grandfather Kevin Davis says he didn’t leave a note or any explanation.

Davis told KTVU, “to me it didn't answer any questions; it didn't solve any problems it just kind of left us hanging.”  

He says he believes his granddaughter is still alive but also believes Webb had more information to give.   KTVU asked him if he was convinced that Webb was not involved in her disappearance.  

Davis told KTVU, “no I felt like he was to some degree.  You know the story from the beginning was questionable and we just hoped at some point we'd get the truth out of him.”

Twenty-one-month-old Daphne Webb hasn’t been seen since July of 2013.   John Anthony Webb told police that he went into a store and left her in the car with his mother who suffers from dementia.  He says when he came out baby Daphne was gone.   He was considered a person of interest and even went to jail but was never charged in her case.

KTVU Special Section: The Search for Daphne Webb

Just days after she went missing he tearfully told reporters, “My daughter's missing and I have to live with that. Even though I'm out of jail I'm still not free from what I feel.”

There are still questions surrounding his death.   An autopsy was performed Monday but an official cause of death won’t be determined until toxicology tests come back.  The coroner’s office told KTVU that could take anywhere from 60 to 90 days.

Davis says he’s frustrated telling KTVU, “if he knew he was going to do this and I believe he did he should have let us what was going on, you know pointed us in the right direction but he cheated us.”

Davis says consolation comes in the face of his newborn granddaughter.   Just a week after Daphne went missing her mother Kiana found out that she and Webb were expecting again.

Dawn was born in January and her grandfather says he hopes she can one day finally meet her big sister.




More News

Featured Articles Weather Outlook

Saturday Weather

Saturday Weather Forecast: More of the same

No major changes in the Bay Area weekend forecast. Low clouds and fog will resurface near the coast and bay Saturday morning.

Thursday on KTVU News at 5

KTVU on Twitter

2 Investigates

BART train file photo

Associated Press

2 Investigates: BART theft crackdown

At a time when cut-backs are forcing many Bay Area police departments to take reports of vehicle burglaries over the phone instead of sending a uniformed officer to investigate in person, BART Police is funding a new program aimed at catching crooks who break into cars parked at their stations.

The Daily Mix

Right This Minute's Beth Troutman and her sandwich

RTM host Beth Troutman recently took a trip to Oakland to Ike's Place where she got the chance to create her very own sandwich: "Beth Troutman.