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"We want to find Barry": Family of missing Cape Coral man go to court to see suspect

update barry
Posted at 4:14 PM, Jun 27, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Christopher Davis, the man charged with killing his boyfriend Barry Schmalbach in Cape Coral last summer, is finally back in Southwest Florida and made his first court appearance Thursday morning.

"Honestly brings some sort of relief," Schmalbach's sister Emily Scaletta said about Davis' court appearance.

Find more information on the case here.

Scaletta described her feelings, "Definitely re-hitting again because, especially with one year. It's in a few weeks, and it's crazy to think that time has moved so fast and so slow."

Last July, Scaletta's 56-year-old brother Barry Schmalbach disappeared from Cape Coral.

One month later, Schmalbach's boyfriend Davis was arrested and booked in the Lee County Jail on a warrant from South Carolina.

It wasn't until January that he was charged for Schmalbach's murder, tampering with the evidence and several counts of fraudulent use of personal identification of a deceased individual.

This week, South Carolina's governor and Governor DeSantis worked out a way to bring Davis back to Southwest Florida for court.

"I'm fearing for my life," Davis said Thursday morning in his hearing.

He complained about his treatment in jail and said he's been held against his will in a shower.

The judge chose to roll over the pretrial hearing for 24 hours to consider holding Davis without bond before his trial after the request from the State Attorney lawyer.

However, Scaletta knows it may be a while before she gets the answers she wants.

She said, "It's the start of a long journey, and we know that this is just the beginning."

Most of all, they want to lay Schmalbach to rest.

"Our end goal hasn't changed we want to find Barry...We are well aware a lot of these cases go unsolved, and there's no resolution and families are just left wondering what happened to our loved one, and we extremely appreciate for all the work that has been put into Barry's case," she added.