One year after Napa man beaten to death, family desperate for answers, seeks justice

February 1 marks one year since a Napa father and grandfather was attacked and killed on a popular public path.  

Friday night, the family of Douglas Davis Jr., 54, held a vigil at the site, determined that his murder not fade from memory. 

"Somebody knows something, and I just need somebody to come forward," said daughter Andrea Davis, 23.

There has been no arrest in the case. 

Addressing about 60 friends and family, Davis became emotional talking about the killer. 

"You're not God, you don't get to choose when someone's going to go," she said.

And to anyone who is staying quiet about what they know?

"Come forward because it could have been you, and be blessed it wasn't you," said Davis, tearfully. 

Doug Davis, Jr. was a Napa native, and familiar figure riding his bicycle around town. 

He often used the Napa Valley Vine Trail, finding it safer than dodging cars on the streets.

He was pedaling home from a friend's house about 10 p.m. when he was brutally beaten to death about 9:30 at night. 

"It had to be more than one person, I can tell you that," said his father Doug Davis, "because my son was a strong young man, very athletic." 

His parents say the killer left Davis's backpack and new bicycle behind on the path, with his broken body.  

"Maybe somebody had something against him from his drug days, who knows, all those possibilities are there," said his mother Pat Davis.

In past years, Davis had overcome substance abuse, and his family says he was productive and happy, working overnight at the local Safeway store. 

"I saw him and said 'Dougie, you're behind the checkstand now?'", recalled friend MayLing Lum.

"And he came around the checkstand and grabbed me and hugged me for the longest time."  

A longtime friend remembered Davis's humor and love of sports.  

"We had so many good times, and sometimes we had some bad times too but he was always smiling," said Matt Stubbs sadly. 

Those who knew Davis say he was friendly, talkative, and always interested in others. 

"Going into Safeway at the end of every day was so chill," said customer Dominique Jackson, wiping away tears.

"I couldn't believe it, to have this random person care about me, for no reason at all." 

Several investigators from the Napa Police Dept. also attended the hour-long vigil.

"We are keeping everything open and pursuing all motives, all leads, all investigations," said Lt. Gary Pitkin.

Pitkin declined to theorize about a motive, or describe progress in the case.

"We want to stand with the family and do what we can to bring a sense of peace and support to them to they know we have not forgotten and will keep working until we bring the killer to justice."

Davis has three children and four grandchildren.

"If you ever watched football with him, I just miss him screaming and yelling and his clapping," reminisced son Sammy Davis.

"Just live in the moment, love your loved ones, kiss them at night and appreciate everything they do for you."

The family expressed gratitude for the show of support, as people lit candles and shared stories about Davis. 

"I'm really thankful that my dad was loved by so many people," said Andrea Davis, "and it doesn't get easier, you just get used to it."

A $5,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest in the homicide.