Man charged with murder of Cedar Falls hunter

Ethan Davis, charged with the murder of Curtis Ross.

Law enforcement have charged a man with the murder of a Cedar Falls man found dead in a hunting ground in Appanoose County.

27-year-old Ethan Davis of Promise City was taken into custody at the Wayne County Jail where he was being held on unrelated charges. He is charged with first-degree murder.

The Appanoose County Sheriff's Office says the body of 31-year-old Curtis Ross, of Cedar Falls, was found in the public hunting land around Lake Rathbun at 115th Avenue near Sandy Branch on Saturday, Nov. 25. He was reported missing earlier in the day.

An autopsy determined Ross died of multiple stab wounds and multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators say they found several spent rifle casings near the area where Ross was found. Evidence found near the crime scene also had fingerprints that were identified as belonging to Ethan Davis.

A search warrant executed at the residence where Davis was staying at also turned up evidence related to the murder. Police say Davis rented a trailer on his parent's 420-acre property in Promise City. Several areas inside a vehicle belonging to Davis tested positive for blood. A criminal complaint says that vehicle was attempted to be concealed and was found a mile away from Davis' trailer on the property.

A rifle that was found hidden under farm equipment at Davis' home had several traces of blood. Rifle casings found near Ross' body were found to be shot by the rifle found at Davis' home. That ammunition found at the crime is identical to ammunition found at Davis' residence.

A criminal complaint says that Davis was familiar with the land Ross was hunting and where' Ross' body was found.

Law enforcement is still asking the public for assistance. If any hunters find anything that is out of place they are asked to not touch the items and to contact law enforcement to come and look at the items.

Davis is being held on $1 million cash-only bond.

The family of Curtis Ross released a statement following news of the arrest:

“The Family of Curtis Ross would like to thank all of the people that assisted in the search for Curtis. They are very grateful for all the hard work that Law Enforcement has put into the investigation. The family asks for continued privacy through this difficult time.” –The Family of Curtis Ross

You can read the full criminal complaint below:

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