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Sex predator arrested after woman's death, 10-year-old's abduction

Deputies: Son found 37-year-old mother dead in Middleburg home

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – After an overnight manhunt, a person of interest in the death of a woman and abduction and sexual assault of her 10-year-old daughter in Middleburg was taken into custody by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Donald Davidson Jr., 34, is a registered sexual predator who was released from prison in September on charges of lewd and lascivious act on a child younger than 12 in 2004 and aggravated battery on a pregnant woman in 2010.

Deputies said the victim, 37-year-old Roseanne Welsh, was found dead by her son Monday inside her home, located at 4829 Mayflower St.

"Upon arrival, the 13-year-old son who resides there discovered his mother deceased. He was the one who contacted the Sheriff's Office," said Lt. Wayne McKinney.

After the initial investigation, foul play was suspected in Welsh's death, and deputies said Davidson was a person of interest, not only in the death of Welsh, but the abduction of her daughter.

"While we were there, the 10-year-old approached us on one of the cross streets up from the residence," McKinney said. "She ID'd [Davidson] as a family friend. According to her info, there was an incident inside the house. She was abducted from the scene and taken to different locations for a brief period of time, at which time she was again brought back somewhere in the general vicinity and dropped off, at which point she saw the sheriff's deputies, approached the vehicles and contacted us."

A vehicle that belongs to Welsh's family disappeared from the home, and deputies said they believe Davidson had it in his possession. When deputies found out Davidson had removed his tracking device that was on his ankle, a manhunt ensued.

"We want to make sure that we make very clear to all the citizens that he is a very dangerous subject," McKinney said. "He was a parolee, he was under supervised probation."

Davidson was taken into custody at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in Clay County. Detectives found him on Blanding Boulevard near Jefferson Avenue in Orange Park.

He was spotted driving the stolen minivan and a traffic stop was conducted, according to deputies.

Deputies said he was taken into custody without incident and is being questioned. He will be transported later to the Clay County jail, and charges are pending the outcome of the investigation, according to deputies.

Davidson has prior convictions, including aggravated battery and sexual battery.