UPDATE: Suspect pleads not guilty in Cedar Falls hunter's death, - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Suspect pleads not guilty in Cedar Falls hunter's death, murder trial set

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UPDATE: 27-year-old Ethan Davis has pleaded not guilty to a First-Degree Murder charge in Appanoose County, following the death of Curtis Ross. 

Ross, who is from Cedar Falls, was found dead in rural Appanoose County in November 2017. Authorities say he was hunting in the area. 

Online court records show a pretrial conference for Davis has also been set for April 16, and a jury trial is now scheduled to begin on May 1.

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Original Story:

The Department of Criminal Investigation has arrested the man they believe is responsible for a murder, but the motive is still unclear. The DCI says 27-year-old Ethan Davis is facing murder charges in the death of Cedar Falls hunter Curtis Ross.

Ross' body was found in rural Appanoose County on November 25. Police say Ethan Davis was arrested for the murder. 

Ethan Davis now facing first degree murder charges, but authorities have not said why they believe Davis killed Curtis Ross, leaving the motive unclear.

The DCI held a press conference Wednesday morning at the Appanoose County Courthouse, where they explained details of the investigation. 

"The autopsy determined the cause of death was from multiple stab/incised wounds and multiple gunshot wounds," said Appanoose County Sheriff Gary Anderson. 

Ross was reported missing last month while hunting near lake Rathbun. Once his body was discovered, authorities ruled his death a homicide and opened a multi-agency hunt for the suspect. Authorities covered more than 800 acres in Appanoose county until leads pointed to Davis. 

"We had forensic information and evidence recovered from the scene," said Sheriff Anderson. "Specifically, there was a developmental fingerprint that matched Ethan Davis." 

Investigators point to evidence discovered near Ross' body in helping them link Davis to the murder.

According to the criminal complaint, several rifle casings were found within twenty yards of his body. 

Fifteen miles away from the crime scene in Promise city, investigators searched Davis' home. That's where they found a rifle hidden under farm equipment and blood in Davis' car.

"A DCI firearms expert matched the casings fired from the rifle to the casings that were found near the body of Mr. Ross where he was located," said Sheriff Anderson. 

Multiple stab and gunshot wounds, an apparent rage-filled crime-begging the question, why? 

Investigator have not said what lead to the murder in the woods.

During the press conference, investigators did not comment as to whether the two men even knew each other. 

Davis has been in the Wayne County Jail for unrelated charges including burglary and child endangerment for a week and a half. His bond is now set at one million dollars. 

To read the detailed criminal complaint, click here

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