NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The 10-year anniversary of the disappearance of 18-month-old Joshua Davis Jr. is approaching and New Braunfels police are temporarily offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest or grand jury indictment of the person responsible.
On Tuesday, New Braunfels police announced on social media that they have “been frustrated and disappointed in the level of cooperation from some members of the immediate family who have repeatedly lied and misled detectives,” in regards to Joshua’s disappearance on Feb. 4, 2011.
The 2-foot tall, 30-pound toddler was last seen at the family home in the 2600 block of Savannah Hill Circle in New Braunfels when temperatures outside were freezing and light snow and ice were covering the ground.
Police have determined that seven adults and three children, including Joshua, were inside the home the night Joshua disappeared. Initially, family members inside the home that night suggested that Joshua had wandered outside in the rural area near the house.
“We firmly believe that someone who was in the home the night of the disappearance knows what really happened”, New Braunfels Police Department spokesman David Ferguson said Tuesday.
New Braunfels police said Tuesday that detectives continue to follow up on new leads 10 years later but have accused the family of sending investigators off “to investigate theories that they knew to be untrue, which took resources away from the investigation that could have been better used to help bring closure to this case.”
NBPD said one instance of the family’s failure to help with the case was their initial claim that the family called 911 immediately after the boy’s disappearance. However, police said “investigators have confirmed that approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour elapsed from the time that Joshua allegedly disappeared to the time that the 911 call was made.”
Police also said that investigators know that illegal drugs were cleaned up and disposed of and a family meeting was held prior to the 911 call being made.
Joshua’s mother, Sabrina Benitez, has previously said that she and her son were watching “Toy Story” when he walked away toward the front part of the house. She spoke with KSAT in 2016, and admitted that there was marijuana in the home that night but that she believes her son is still alive. At the time, she said “I want people to stop pointing the finger at me. Just like the cops don’t know, nobody else knows what happened.”
New Braunfels police, however, say the family was being disingenuous with the media and continued to push a false narrative of abduction which detectives have ruled out as a possible reason for Joshua’s disappearance, based on statements made by the family in the hours after Joshua vanished.
“We have had to deal with repeated lies or misleading to detectives, sending our detectives off to investigate theories that family members knew to be untrue,” Ferguson said.
According to detectives who are actively working on the case, they believe the key information needed to solve this case lies with members of the family that were in the home the night Joshua disappeared.
This is not the first time that police have accused the family of misleading investigators. In 2016, Ferguson said while the family has been fully cooperative, “we don’t believe that the information they’re giving us is fully truthful.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the toddler’s disappearance to call Crime Stoppers at 830-620-TIPS (8477), leave a tip online HERE, or send a tip via text message using the “P3 Tips” smartphone app available on iOS and Android devices.
“The hope is always to find baby Joshua alive,” Ferguson said. “Unfortunately the investigation points to that being unlikely.”
The $10,000 reward will be available for the next 30 days and expires at 5 p.m. on Feb. 24. All tips to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous. To contact the New Braunfels Police Department directly, call 830-221-4100.
The FBI and Texas Rangers have also worked on the case.