, Port Arthur, Texas

March 31, 2012

PA man arrested in murder victim's vehicle

Jailed in Houston on unrelated charge

Sherry Koonce
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Investigations into this week’s murder of an elderly Port Acres woman led Port Arthur police officers to Houston Friday to question one of the victim’s relatives, a nephew who has been identified as a person of interest.

Betty Davis of 2213 Shirley Street was discovered dead in her kitchen Friday by another relative who went to the victim’s home to check on her welfare after not hearing from her for a time.

The victim is believed to have died sometime during the day Tuesday. Police were called to the scene Friday afternoon, after the relative found the woman’s body, Mickey Sterling, a detective with the Port Arthur Police Department, said.

PAPD investigators traveled to Houston Friday to question the victim’s nephew, Lawrence James Jr., 42, of Port Arthur.

According to Sterling, James was arrested on a drug charge early Wednesday morning in Houston while driving the victim’s vehicle in the Montrose area.

James remains in the Harris County jail on the unrelated charge.

At this point, James remains a person of interest in connection with the murder of his aunt, Sterling said.  

PAPD has not released the manner in which the victim was killed, but are calling the death a homicide.

According to Sterling, Davis’ death is the first homicide of the year in Port Arthur.