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Police set to arrest boyfriend of missing Cape Coral man for murder

Barry Schmalbach has been missing since July 19, 2023
Barry Schmalbach
Posted at 10:02 AM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 18:03:36-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A warrant for second-degree murder has been issued by the Cape Coral Police Department for Christopher Gregory Davis, the boyfriend of missing Cape Coral man Barry Schmalbach.

The announcement comes a little more than six months since Schmalbach went missing. He was last seen on July 19, 2023, and the last time someone physically saw Schmalbach, he was at Cruisers bar in downtown Cape Coral with Davis.

"Hearing the word murder is — it's a lot," said Barry's sister Emily Scaletta as she reacted to the announcement. "Just hearing it and having it confirmed brought a whole new wave of emotions."

Davis is also facing one county of tampering with evidence and nine counts of fraudulent use of personal identification of a deceased individual.

"When I tell you we have a mountain of evidence, we do," said Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore on Friday.

Sizemore also confirmed the person of interest they told the public about back in August 2023 was Davis.

He told senior reporter Kaitlin Knapp the most difficult part of the investigation has been attempting to locate Schmalbach's body.

"He deserves to have the respect to be buried because he mattered," said Rosalie Fallico, Barry's best friend of 40 years.

"We have not given up looking for him, we are not going to stop looking for him. We're not going to give up," Scaletta said. "We're so sorry that this happened because he did not deserve this at all."

Fallico asked police for a welfare check in July 2023 after she could not get ahold of Barry.

According to a police report, mutual friends say they had allegedly got into an argument and Barry left. His boyfriend said he left in an Uber or someone else's car and claiming Barry allegedly texted Davis and stated he was staying with friends and not to call him.

Davis had never been charged with anything related to Barry's disappearance until today. However, he was arrested and booked into the Lee County Jail on August 1, 2023 for a 2018 South Carolina warrant. Davis had been convicted of a crime in South Carolina and remains in prison.

"We will show up to every proceeding we can possibly show up to," Fallico said.

As of Friday, police have not found Schmalbach.

COVERAGE: Cape Coral Police suspect foul play in the disappearance of Barry Schmalbach

A friend had received a voicemail from Barry on July 19. The friend didn't check it until the next day, but Barry said he needed help getting Davis out of his apartment.

The missing persons report says his friend kept calling Schmalbach back, but no answer. On July 21, he checked Schmalbach's apartment with another friend. He got in with a key, but didn't find Schmalbach. His friend, however, did say the apartment was messy and that was unlike Barry.

As investigators looked into the case, Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore announced on August 4 that investigators suspect foul play was involved in the disappearance of Schmalbach.

After Barry went missing without a trace, Barry's family and friends started their search.

Scaletta flew down to Cape Coral shortly after Barry's disappearance. With the help of community members, she went around to businesses and popular areas to put up signs, looking for any leads.

"He’s awesome, he’s the best big brother in the world. He’s got a heart of gold and he’s so stinking smart with everything," Scaletta told Fox 4 in August. "We absolutely love him and just want to find him."

On Friday, Scaletta shared the same sentiment.

"He's so loved. We all love him," she said. "I love him."

As for the criminal charge, unless Davis fights extradition, he will be brought to Lee County to face his murder charge.