Joshua Wright has no illusions that he will ever see his brother, Noah Brandon Davis, alive again.
It’s been 34 months since Wright contacted the authorities to report his then-24-year-old brother was nowhere to be found. The last time Joshua saw Noah was when Noah picked up Joshua’s personal belongings from an area jail and drove away in Joshua’s Ford pick-up truck. That truck was later found “abandoned” at America’s Best Value Inn on Camp Jordan Parkway. Noah was not a registered guest of the motel, a building that recently succumbed to the wrecking ball and is gone.
This reporter had a chance encounter with Joshua at the East Ridge Police Services Center. Joshua had come in to get a police report from an incident where a local restaurant employee lost his cool and began cursing the management in front of Joshua’s little girl. Joshua intervened and in return his laptop was broken by the upset employee.
I had come across the incident report in the lobby of the building. I introduced myself to Joshua at which point he told me that his kid brother had vanished and that he was frustrated over the lack of progress authorities had made in Noah’s case. We agreed to meet and talk in the future. Joshua said he welcomed any information regarding the case for the public to see. Because this case is about as cold as they come.
On a breezy, sunshine-filled day last week, Joshua sat down at a table in the pavilion at Pioneer Frontier playground to talk about his brother’s disappearance.
Noah grew up in a household in North Georgia where his mom had overcome drug addiction and his father was nowhere to be found. His education consisted of a high school GED and his only real job was a brief stint of busing tables at Roy’s in Rossville.
“He liked to laugh, watch videos,” Joshua said of his brother. “He was silly … an active guy.”
Noah was good at something, though. Joshua called him a “networker.” Noah, who had a drug problem, knew people. If somebody needed some pills, he could find it for them, Joshua said.
As it most always does, the lifestyle of dealing and abusing drugs may have caught up with Noah. It may have contributed to his mother’s early demise, too. She was suffering from COPD and wasn’t going to be long for this world. His mother’s diagnosis had an affect on Noah. Joshua said Noah had been jailed on a drug charge, but as a condition of his release Noah was to attend a treatment center for his drug addiction and get clean.
“(Noah) helped me take care of mom,” Joshua said as he puffed on an e-cigarette at the pavilion. “Noah wanted to learn how to live without drugs.”
Joshua said in the days leading up to his disappearance, his kid brother was clean and sober. He was looking forward to starting a new life, one not centered around drugs and getting high. Things seemed to be pointing in the right direction. And then it started to unravel.
Joshua, a former corrections officer for Walker State Prison in Rock Spring, said he got arrested in Collegedale for driving on a suspended license. He ended up in jail for a few days until the next municipal court hearing. Joshua said he called his brother to come get his belongings and to collect his pickup truck. Then Noah drove off and was gone.
Joshua said in the years leading up to that time he had been involved in a custody battle for his daughter. In 2010 he had started an organization advocating for the rights of fathers _ a Facebook page called Support Daddy Vs Catoosa County. In short, he had rankled the feathers of the legal system.
When his kid brother vanished and he reported it to the law, the legal system, a system that he desperately needed, reacted much slower than Joshua would have liked.
“When I filed the missing person report, there was some eye-rolling (from authorities),” Joshua said. ” These people were annoyed with me, and there was Noah’s past. They ignored it and blew it off.”
Joshua _ who has mounted an unrelenting social media effort to draw attention to his brother’s disappearance _ began to talk about something he called “Missing White Women Syndrome.” He said that younger attractive white women get the lion’s share of attention from the authorities and media when they go missing. People like Noah kind of fall through the cracks.
Joshua said that Noah Davis’s name was finally entered into a national missing person data base on Feb. 16, 2016, more than 18 months after he was reported missing on July 28, 2014. Until that time, the authorities were treating Noah as a fugitive. (Remember, he was released from jail on a drug charge on the condition that he enter a substance abuse treatment facility).
Over the next year, their mother was fading away. When she died in August of 2016 and Noah didn’t show up for the funeral, local law enforcement authorities finally began to believe the young man was truly gone, Joshua said.
Last March, when he and his mother were out of town and away from their home near a wooded area in Fort Oglethorpe off Highway 2A, Joshua said the law came and searched the woods. According to Joshua, the law didn’t bring one very helpful tool for a body search … a cadaver dog. Of course, nothing came of the search.
Joshua said he has badgered law enforcement over Noah’s case. He has given them leads, rumors of what he’s heard on the street about what really happened to Noah. One rumor is that Noah was shoved out of vehicle and intentionally run over several times. Then his body was dumped near a body of water. Noah may have ripped someone off in a drug exchange.
Joshua has names of some rough people who are associates of unfortunate folks who have succumbed to drug overdoses. This was the world Noah knew as a “networker” and a drug abuser. His fate could have been similar. Who knows?
Joshua said that his “primary goal” is finding his brother … alive or dead. A secondary goal, if his brother had been killed, is bringing to justice those who may have been responsible for his death.
“I know Noah had problems,” Joshua said. “But he was my brother. He was a human being.”
Joshua said he will find Noah. If he’s no longer among the living, he will bring Noah back and bury him next to their mother.