Police Have Suspect In A Buckingham County Murder

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

July 28,2005

A break in a case in Buckingham County after a domestic dispute ends with one woman dead. Police have in custody the man they believe is responsible for the gruesome murder.

In a small area like Buckingham County, tragic stories like this one are rare. Even more rare, is the fact that the suspect turned out to be the victim's own boyfriend.

"This is just one of [those] cases--severe cases--of a domestic assault that went wrong and went bad," said Sheriff Danny Williams.

37-year-old Buddy James Drumheller is the man who police believe brutally beat his live-in girlfriend inside a mobile home located near the Albemarle-Buckingham County border late Tuesday evening, and then left.

Police say it wasn't until the following morning that he returned and drove the woman's lifeless body to the Scottsville Rescue Squad.

"They hoped, they thought that she was still alive, took her there, but as investigation revealed she wasn't," explained Sheriff Williams.

Police say at first Drumheller denied beating his girlfriend, 37-year-old Zelda Davis, but later confessed.

"She was severely beaten. [She had] several blows to the head. Her entire body was bruised up," said Sheriff Williams.

Davis' ex-husband and 19-year-old son from Charlottesville collected her belongings from her car. His stepmother tells us the teen is struggling to cope with his mother's unexpected death.

"It's not just going to go away in a day or two, it's going to be a lifelong thing," said Dawn Davis.

Police say this isn't the first time Drumheller beat Davis; the couple was said to have problems in the past.

He is being held without bond tonight. He's charged with first degree murder and this is the first murder this year in Buckingham County. Their last murder was in 2003.

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