Grandfather, 54, beaten to death along Napa trail

A vigil was held Wednesday night in Napa for a man beaten to death on a public path one week ago. 

Family and friends of Douglas Davis Jr., 54, are grieving and frustrated there has been no arrest.

"Anyone who knew him, knows he's looking down on us right now, smiling," said Sammy Davis, addressing a crowd of more than 100, assembled along the Napa Valley Vine Trail, where Davis was killed. "To have a murderer walking the streets, everyone should be concerned in Napa,  to have justice, not just for my dad but for the community." 

Davis was a father of three and grandfather of three, with another on the way. 

He was a longtime employee at the local Safeway store, where co-workers said he always had a broad smile and sunny attitude. 

"He really really loved me and my son," daughter Andrea Davis told the crowd, who held candles and brought flowers and notes.  "Everyone keeps telling me how much he would talk about me and Aiden and it just makes me so happy because I matched that love with him."  

Davis was a Napa native and he rode all over town on his bicycle. Near the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue, a short distance along the trail, someone attacked and beat him to death after dark. 

"He was very content, the happiest I've seen him, everything going good and a job he loved," said friend Ed Crespo, who was the last person to see Davis alive.

They ate dinner and watched a movie at Crespo's house, then Davis set out for home on his bicycle about 9:30 p.m.

"He has left my house a lot later than that before and rode out, no problems, so I don't know what the difference was that night," Crespo told KTVU. 

His family believes Davis was robbed, but police aren't confirming that 

"We're really trying to lock down somebody's motivation, at this point we don't have that," said Capt. Patrick Manzer of the Napa Police Department.

Investigators are receiving tips, some spurred by flyers the family has posted offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. 

With help from the Napa County Sheriff's Dept. and the District Attorney's office, police are able to dedicate 20 people to the homicide.   

"He had a lot of friends, and friends who care about him, and they are out there also, just like we are," said  Manzer. 

Among those grieving, Davis's parents, who describe his good heart and easy going ways:   

"He had little problems growing up, and got hooked up in drugs you know, but he had turned his life around," said his father Doug Davis, Sr. 

Davis choked up recounting how he saw another man on a bike, reminding him of his son. 

"It just brought back memories, because he always had his backpack and rode," said Davis tearfully," and he loved to ride the trail."

Some people at the vigil suggested lights would make the pathway through Napa safer at night. 

The Napa Valley Vine Trail has proposed spending about $450,000 for lighting in the area, with the cost to be split between the trail organization and the city. 

A total of 350,000 people used the 18-mile trail last year, with a negligible number of violent incidents.  
Those who knew Davis can't imagine why anyone would want to hurt him, much less beat him to death. He was universally remembered as a loving and giving man.     

"I had a real problem with a leaky roof," recounted former neighbor Craig Ratkovich, " and it was 95 degrees outside, and he goes up there with a partner and in two hours, gets it fixed, he just had a big heart." 

Son-in-law Aries Orejola was among the last to speak. 

"He used to call me champ," smiled Orejola, "and I only boxed for about two weeks, and he was calling me the champ, like he had me believing in myself."