Update: Man charged in Appanoose County homicide

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APPANOOSE COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Authorities said they now know who killed a Cedar Falls man while he was hunting.

Today's arrest sheds some light on what happened in a remote area of Appanoose County, but it still leaves some unanswered questions. Ethan Davis faces a charge of first degree murder. He's 27 years old and is from Promise City, Iowa.

The Appanoose County Sheriff said Davis shot Ross and stabbed him repeatedly. Ross was 31 from Cedar Falls.

"Law enforcement personnel arrested Ethan Landon Davis, age 27," said Appanoose County Sheriff Gary Anderson.

That arrest gives some answers for the family of Curtis Ross. Searchers found his body on November 25th in a remote part of Appanoose County after Ross did not come back from a hunting trip. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation found shell casings by Ross' body that had Ethan Davis' fingerprints.

At Davis' home, investigators found more evidence, including a vehicle with blood stains inside and a rifle with more blood on it hidden under farm equipment.

"That was then transported up to the lab. The lab was able to pull a fingerprint off the rifle, showing that Mr. Davis had possession of it at one time," said Special Agent Michael Motsinger with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Investigators didn't say what led to the murder or the connection between Davis and Ross, saying that is still under investigation. Sheriff Gary Anderson reassured the public that hunters are safe.

"This was an isolated incident," said Sheriff Anderson.

Investigators said hunters should still report anything suspicious, since this investigation is still not over.

"Just anything that looks out of place or unnatural, they need to call it in. It could be related to other crimes also," said Sheriff Anderson.

Davis was already in jail on unrelated charges. He is still there tonight on a one million dollar cash only bond.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety says a press conference will be held this morning in Appanoose County.

They are set to give an update on the Appanoose County homicide of Curtis Ross.

Ross' body was found by the Appanoose County Sheriff's Office on November 26.

The 31-year-old from Cedar Falls went missing while hunting over the weekend.

The sheriff's office says they received a report that Ross had disappeared in a remote area of the county November 25 while hunting.

The case was under investigation by the Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Appanoose County Attorney, Appanoose County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.