Real Name: Rebecca Young Davis
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Belle Glade, Florida
Date: April 1991
Details: On May 1, 1991, a 911 dispatcher in Miami, Florida, received a call from a man who claimed that he had witnessed a horrifying murder in Belle Glade, eighty miles north of Miami. He also said that he had gotten a license plate number of the killer's car. The dispatcher had trouble understanding the caller because he was speaking quickly in Spanish. She connected him to detective Burt Blanco. In a rushed, nervous voice, the caller began to describe a grisly scene which he had witnessed several days earlier. He said he was hunting illegally in a sugar cane field when he heard a vehicle in the distance. He said that as he ran to hide, a blue Ford Bronco pulled up nearby. A man and a woman got out. She called him "Ricardito".
According to the caller, the man and woman started to argue. It appeared to be a drug problem. He was telling her to give him the money. She said that she could not give him it yet. Another man, believed to be Cuban, came out of the vehicle. The caller believed that "Ricardito" was Mexican, based on the way he spoke. She shouted "Ricardito! Don't kill me Ricardito". He then struck her repeatedly with a machete, killing her. After that, he and the other man dragged her body away. The caller got down on his knees and hid, fearing that he would be seen and then killed as well. The Ford Bronco then pulled away. He saw a 7 and a 2 on the license plate. He then left the area because he was scared. Later, however, he realized that he needed to call the police to report the crime.
The caller said that the sugar cane field was behind a building shaped like an ice cream cone. Detective Frank Mayo of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department in Belle Glade was assigned to investigate. He identified the building as an ice cream restaurant called the "Twisty Treat". He went there and saw a set of tree lines about a mile south. He went to the tree lines and started searching around there. As he passed the trees in his vehicle, he saw a small brown object in an area of tall grass. He stopped his car and went over to look at it. He then realized that it was the body of a woman. Due to the state of decomposition, he could not identify her race. He then notified headquarters.
A team of investigators was immediately dispatched to the scene. Detective Mark Lewis noted that it was a very heinous crime. He felt that the killer had a lot of disregard for human life. It was determined that she had died of multiple incised wounds, presumably caused by a machete. She had been laying there for approximately a week, maybe longer. She had passed the decomposition stage and had started to mummify. Although the majority of her fingers had already turned to skeleton, investigators were able to get a thumbprint from her right thumb. Based on that print, they were able to identify her as Rebecca Young. She was a twenty-one-year-old resident of Belle Glade. In a terrible irony, her mother had also been murdered. She was just twelve at the time. She then went to live with her aunt, Lucille Williams. The two had a very close relationship; Lucille felt that it was like that of friends, sisters, and mother/daughter. She remembered that Rebecca was quiet, shy, and tried to do anything she could for anybody.
Police began to dig into Rebecca's background, looking for a murder suspect. They discovered that, after high school, she had become involved with a man known to be a petty criminal. He had gotten her involved with drugs and prostitution. He had beaten her up on more than one occasion. He also threatened and intimidated her into this new type of lifestyle. While police have determined that he is not a suspect in her murder, they do believe that his petty thievery may have led to her death. They suspect that he may have robbed a client without her knowledge and that she suffered the consequences.
On May 14, 1991, three weeks after Rebecca's murder, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department detained a possible suspect. He was a local man who had reportedly told a prostitute that he had killed a black woman. When he was pulled over, police suspected that he was drunk. Before Detective Mayo even interviewed him, the man said that Mayo wanted to talk to him about a murder. When Mayo said he merely wanted to talk to him about the prostitute he had been with, the man said that he did not want to talk and instead wanted an attorney. At that point, they did not have any further evidence that he was involved in the murder, so he was released. Despite this, they feel certain that he was involved.
Police are now engaged in an all-out search for the elusive eyewitness who had originally telephoned them to report the crime. Little is known about the caller, except that his first name is Antonio. He said he called from a pay phone because he did not have one at home. Judging from his accent, police believe he was born in Cuba. Police and Rebecca's family want to urge him to come forward. It should be emphasized that he is not wanted for any crime.
Suspects: Antonio recalled in his first tip that Rebecca called one of the men Ricardito, but so far, this name has not led to any suspects. One man was believed to be Cuban, while the other, Ricardito, was believed to be Mexican. They were driving in a blue Ford Bronco with the license plate numbers "7 2". Antonio could not see the rest of the plate.
Three weeks after Rebecca's murder, a man was arrested by police. He had allegedly mentioned to another prostitute that he had killed a black woman. He apparently knew that police wanted to speak to him about a murder, although they had never mentioned that to him. He immediately asked for a lawyer. Although there was no strong evidence linking him to Rebecca, police believe that he was involved.
The police would like to find Antonio for more information on Rebecca's case. It is important to note that he is not a suspect and is not wanted for any crime. Though they are still uncertain, they believe from his accent that he was likely of Cuban heritage, possibly an immigrant. He told investigators that he called from a pay phone because he did not have a telephone at home. One source states that Antonio's last name is "Fonseca".
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 11, 1992 episode.
- Rebecca Young on Unsolved.com
- Rebecca Young on Palm Beach County Victim Services
- Death Ruled A Homicide - May 6, 1991
- County Logs 44 Homicides In `91 - July 1, 1991
- Leads Sought in Murder - November 11, 1992