Recent college grad, Eagle Scout stabbed to death by childhood friend, family says

ROME, Ga. — Police have arrested a man in connection with the stabbing death of a recent college graduate.

Investigators found the body of 21-year-old Aaron Davis on Saturday off Tumlin Drive. Brandon Christopher Risner faces charges of murder, aggravated assault and concealing the death of another.

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Davis’ family said in a statement that the 21-year-old just graduated from BYU-Idaho in April and recently aced his entrance exams for a Master’s program.

“Most of you have heard by now that our son Aaron was savagely taken from us. We will always love him and miss him. He was the glue in our family dynamic with special ties to each of his siblings and parents. He was loved by his friends. We are still trying to make sense of this tragedy and why this happened. He was always a kid at heart but also so smart and embraced the adulthood that he needed to.”

On Saturday around 10 a.m., Rome police found an abandoned car in a ditch behind a levee at Heritage Park. The car belonged to Davis, whose family said he was supposed to meet friends in Alabama.

Police launched a missing person investigation and discovered evidence of foul play where Davis was last seen. Investigators eventually found Davis’ body and identified him by his college ID.

Police said Davis’ body had multiple stab wounds and they are waiting for an autopsy to confirm the official cause of death.


Warrants obtained by Channel 2 allege that Risner and Davis got into an fight before the stabbing happened. Risner then attempted to conceal the body and moved it to Tumlin Drive, according to the warrants.

Police have not confirmed how the two knew each other, but Davis’ family told the Deseret News in Idaho that the two were high school friends.

Police said they don’t have a motive for the murder yet.

Channel 2′s Bryan Mims was at North Forsyth High School Wednesday, where Davis was once a student. After Davis, who was an Eagle Scout, graduated from high school, he enrolled at Brigham Young University in Idaho.

Family members said Davis had “just aced an entrance exam for his master’s program” and that he was happy having a girlfriend and her family that he truly loved.

A friend says the Davis family wishes to bury Aaron in their family’s plot in Massachusetts and set up a GoFundMe to help the family with the costs.

“We wish to ease the unexpected financial stress that has come into their lives. Many of you have expressed a desire to assist the family during this time without overwhelming them as they need time and distance to process their grief. So please share your love and efforts towards these expenses as any donation would be appreciated.

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