A Missing Teen, a Murdered Man: Timeline Shows How Boy's Twisting Tale Unfolded


The story of how two Olympia teenagers came to be charged with murder this week has been a whiplash tale, twisting from a high school student's disappearance, to relief when he was found, to shock following the same boy's arrest.

The capital city's community rallied around the search for Gabriel Davies after he didn't show up to football practice Aug. 31 and his truck was found abandoned. The Thurston County Sheriff's Office held a press conference, bloodhounds were sent out to follow his trail, and tips of possible sightings were called in while the FBI helped analyze cellphone data. When he was found and arrested, thousands of dollars in donations poured into a GoFundMe to help pay his legal fees before the fundraiser was shut down.

Now, Davies and Justin Jiwoon Yoon, both 16, are jailed at Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center in Tacoma, held in lieu of $1 million bail while they await further court proceedings. The two were automatically charged as adults in the killing of 51-year-old Daniel McCaw due to the seriousness of the offenses and their ages.

Here's a timeline showing how Davies' disappearance and subsequent arrest unfolded, according to court records and previous reporting from The News Tribune and The Olympian. Davies was reported missing Aug. 31, but the story begins four days earlier, with a camping trip Davies and his friend, Yoon, took to Panther Lake in Mason County.

Sunday, Aug. 28

  • Davies and Yoon, along with other friends and family, went camping at a cabin on Panther Lake Aug. 27-28, Davies' family told Thurston County detectives during the missing person investigation. Family members reported that Yoon and Davies left shortly after midnight Sunday morning, then returned by about 6:30 a.m.
  • Five miles east of Orting, surveillance video at McCaw's house showed two "young skinny males" approaching from the backyard at about 1:59 a.m. Sunday, according to court records. The home, in the 21700 block of 190th Street East, is 60 miles from Panther Lake and about a 1 hour and 20 minute drive, according to Google Maps. The suspects in the video crawled through a dog door to get in.
  • At about 2:40 a.m., the video shows McCaw exiting a detached garage on his property and entering his residence. Six minutes later, the victim's dog runs out of the home, and both suspects exit about a minute later.
  • The suspects flee the property at 2:52 a.m. while carrying several items, including a "possible handgun," records state.

Wednesday, Aug. 31

  • Davies leaves his Olympia home at about 4 p.m. to attend football practice at Olympia High School, but he never arrived, The Olympian reported.
  • A property owner reports finding a vehicle sometime that afternoon in the 16100 block of Tilley Road South, west of Tenino, according to the Sheriff's Office. The Olympian reported that the teen's family didn't know he was missing until Thurston County deputies called them to ask why the vehicle was there. Inside the vehicle, blood was on the steering wheel and the driver's door panel, according to court records. Davies' phone was found smashed in the roadway.
  • About 5:30 p.m., Davies is seen walking alone, northbound on Tilley Road South toward Millersylvania State Park, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Thursday, Sept. 1

  • An Orting man is found dead in his home by Pierce County deputies after being called at about 9:30 a.m. to perform a welfare check. The man had not shown up to work for four days. Investigators found a spent shell casing near his body and a possible gunshot wound to his temple, court records say. Decomposition made identifying some wounds difficult, but a medical examiner also found defects on the man's stomach and chest believed to be stab wounds.
  • At some point in the "early stages" of the investigation, detectives learn from McCaw's work supervisor that he had previously been in a relationship with a woman later identified as the mother of Davies, records state.
  • Search-and-rescue teams spend the day combing the area between where Davies' vehicle was found and where he was seen walking toward Millersylvania State Park. The FBI, Olympia Police Department and Washington State Parks assist in the search, The Olympian reports. Bloodhound dogs are deployed to follow the teen's trail.
  • At about 10 p.m., Davies is found in the 13600 block of Tilley Road, north of where his vehicle was found. According to court records, the teen was wearing shorts but did not have on a shirt or shoes, and he didn't have any injuries that would have indicated he had been walking through the woods for the 36 hours he was missing. Davies first tells detectives he can't remember what happened to him, then later states he can't say what happened to him "because people were going to hurt him," records state.

Friday, Sept. 2

  • At some point Friday, Davies' father calls Thurston County detectives to say his son was involved in McCaw's death. The father told law enforcement that Davies was directed to steal something from McCaw's house by the man's "biker buddies," who allegedly threatened to hurt Davies if he didn't do it. Davies allegedly confided in his friend, Yoon, and the two developed a "plot" to steal the item from a safe in McCaw's home, according to court records.
  • Davies and Yoon are arrested just after 8 p.m. According to the probable cause document, Pierce County deputies served search warrants at the teen's homes, and the two are located and taken into custody.

Saturday, Sept. 3

  • At some point Saturday afternoon, a fundraiser is set up through GoFundMe asking for help to pay Davies' legal fees and bring him home. The fundraising goal was $25,000, and donations reached $20,200 by the next morning. It's unclear who started the fundraiser or what connection they had to the Davies family.

Sunday, Sept. 4

  • Donations for Davies' fundraiser are turned off by noon. According to GoFundMe, the company's terms of service prohibit fundraising for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime.

Tuesday, Sept. 6

  • Davies and Yoon are charged in Pierce County Superior Court with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree burglary — all filed with firearm enhancements — as well as two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The defendants appear for arraignment via video, and pleas of not guilty were entered.