The death investigation involving Daivena Clay began with a call to 911 from a frantic woman who claimed that her son had tried to kill her on the devil's orders.
The death investigation involving Daivena Clay began with a call to 911 from a frantic woman who claimed that her son had tried to kill her on the devil’s orders.
That March 5 call brought Columbus police to 1127 Wildwood Ave., the East Side home of 48-year-old Roshell Tuck. While police quickly discounted her talk of the devil, they found a legitimate reason to be at her home: Clay’s body at the top of the basement stairs.
More than seven months later, in an interview on what would have been his daughter’s 23rd birthday, Ricardo Clay said he still struggles with Daivena’s death and the fact that police say it was likely unintentional.
“Detectives determined that there was no probable cause to charge anyone with a crime,” Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Police Division spokesman, confirmed last week.
With the death investigation closed, police released records related to the case after a request by The Dispatch.
The file makes it clear that police think Clay’s death was not intentional. The interviews and lists of seized evidence, including handcuffs and pornography, hint at what they suspect happened and what sources say they also told Mr. Clay: that his daughter asphyxiated, likely during a consensual sex act.
When police found Clay, they had reason to be suspicious: She was nude but partially wrapped in a pink bed sheet. A piece of tape covered her eyes.
Officers were told that Tuck’s son, 21-year-old Breyon Bryant, and his teen girlfriend had left the house in a hurry. Both were later questioned, although the case file indicates that Bryant asked for a lawyer and did not speak with police in any detail, saying his mother’s “mental condition” had gotten him into trouble before.
The file does not say whether Bryant spoke to police after getting a lawyer.
Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said yesterday that Clay asphyxiated due to compression of her neck that cut off her breathing. Gorniak classified the manner of death as undetermined and said it was possible that she died during a sex game, as police indicated.
Weiner said police told Mr. Clay about their suspicions but did not want to comment in detail publicly. The case was reviewed by prosecutors, police said.