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Disappearance of Keith Davis

$4,230 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 49 people in 4 months
The Disappearance of Fisheries Observer Keith Davis
 
On September 10th 2015, American biologist and fisheries observer Keith Davis mysteriously disappeared from the Panama-flagged reefer vessel, the Victoria 168, five hundred miles off the coast of Peru.  It was a calm day when Keith was observing fisheries transshipments between the tuna longline fishing vessels and his receiving vessel. Keith’s job was to monitor the amount and type of fish being transferred to prevent Illegal, Unregulated, and Unauthorised (IUU) fishing.
 
Although Keith was on a vessel with approximately 20 crew members from around the world and had almost daily contact with the fishing boat crews of these vessels, he was truly alone out in the middle of the vast ocean and had no independent communication with supervisors and family.  Though recognized as critical to the success of fisheries management and protection of fisheries, all observers face this isolation and ambiguity in their security. They regularly experience assault, harassment, interference or worse. In addition to Keith, six (6) other observers have also disappeared or died while on duty, yet the outcome of these investigations has not been released.
 
With neither an enforcement capability nor backup, it’s people like Keith standing against a dark sector of commercial fishing that is infested with IUU and other types of organised crime.  Drug smuggling, gunrunning, and human trafficking as well as IUU are multi-million dollar black market industries that have allowed highly capable mafias to conceal their activities under the guise of commercial fishing. 
 
The Case and the Investigator
 
In July 2017, Keith’s father and best friend, John Davis, sought the help of a high-profile investigator with ample maritime experience who had just previously solved a mass murder case linked to illegal fishing.  Ironically, some of the suspect vessels in that case had been tagged and noted by Keith Davis whilst an observer on previous deployments over the years.  
 
The investigator took the case on and quickly progressed to establish that, indeed, foul play had taken place, identified persons of interest as well as a probable motive.  The disappearance of Keith Davis is a global case and the investigator has since activated assets and conducted travel associated in tracking down the persons of interest.  Both he and John Davis have been absorbing the expenses associated with this case, which have been costly and now it is time to ask the public for help in concluding the investigation, one which has both global implications for our environment and directly to the security of the United States.  The goal is to reignite a formal investigation, bring justice to those responsible, raise awareness and create greater safeguards for fisheries observers globally, and to bring much needed closure to Keith’s family and friends.   
 
“This is not just about finding out what happened to my son, but helping observers all around the world and keeping them safe”
- John Davis
 
Current status of the formal investigation: 
 
Although the Federal Bureau of Investigation were tasked to investigate this case, there has been no progression namely due to the nature of the case and the jurisdictional challenges. US investigative authorities are stifled by formal procedures in that the flag state of Panama, which has ultimate authority over the vessel that Keith went missing on, has closed its investigation and concluded that no foul play was committed. This severely limits any US Agency's capabilities unless new intelligence is brought to the their attention.
 
The informal investigation:
 
After reviewing metadata as well as other intelligence collected from various sources, (which is being prepared to be submitted as evidence to reignite the official investigation), the investigator can state with absolute certainty that foul play did occur, that there are persons of interest directly connected to Keith’s death, and that there is motive for his death.  
 
The metadata also suggests that Keith Davis was building his own investigation and intending to return from his deployment to warn officials of this greater motive, which, not only affects our oceans and fisheries conservation, but possibly also the national security of the United States by way of another larger organised criminal tactic that was being carried out.   
 
Where do we need to go with this case?
 
Essential travel to key locations is vital in securing more intelligence that can become evidence for an official investigation.  In addition to meeting with the relevant agencies in the United States as well as Panama, the investigator needs to travel to three other locations associated with the persons of interest, as well as scope the overall motive for Keith Davis’s death.  For security reasons, these locations currently cannot be revealed for fear of compromising the investigation.  Once all the intelligence is collected, the investigator shall debrief the relevant US authorities as well as Panamanian authorities in hopes of reopening and progressing an official investigation.  
 
Why a Go Fund Me?
 
Pursuing this investigation via documentary or media outlet has been considered, however, time is of the essence and the need to accurately investigate without added drama, sensationalism, or showmanship is vital.  It is imperative that this case be taken seriously and the most direct and cost-effective path chosen.  With the help of the public, the outcome of this investigation will raise awareness and make fellow observers more secure. It can help tackle the grey areas of illegal fishing in our oceans and make the regulative bodies as well as the distributors more transparent.  Most importantly, it will help solve the disappearance of Keith Davis and pressure the agencies to reopen this case for the sake of justice, and closure. Despite the high number of disappeared observers, the agencies responsible for ensuring observers are safe, have not implemented needed changes in observer protections. Nor has the disappearances caused any pause in the operation of these vessels, despite ongoing investigations. For example, another observer was placed aboard the Victoria 168 less than two months after Keith’s disappearance, which was long before the investigation was complete. It is clear that we need a public platform and an independent investigator to place pressure on these officials and to demand justice for Keith’s disappearance.  
 
What are the costs associated with this investigation?
 
Since July 2017, the investigator has been working on this case and absorbing the costs.  This has amounted to thousands of US dollars in travel and investigative expenses (not including personal time).  In 2018, John Davis began absorbing the expenses.  Our goal is to raise $40,000 USD  on this platform and we anticipate this investigation occurring (ideally) over a two to three month time period. 
 
We intend to allocate:
 
$14,000 for travel, food, lodging 
$10,000 for the Investigator 
$4,000 for GoFund Me Overhead 
$12,000 contingency fund for assets, informants, etc. 
 
* any funds raised that are not spent on the investigation shall be allocated to an Observer protection fund, which is what Keith Davis always believed in and is fully supported by John Davis.  
 
Thank you for any support you can provide.29288502_15242401280_r.jpeg
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Hello,

Thank you to all who have donated to this investigation thus far. We are advancing forward:

In early May, the investigator met with a key US Federal Agency to present his findings in order to (officially) reinvigorate the case. Additionally, the investigator prepared and submitted a 13 point report detailing new intelligence collected to date, which strongly suggests that the disappearance of Keith Davis was not an accident. Within the thirteen points, there were also leads into what happened on the day Keith went missing, who may have been involved and why it happened.

Immediately thereafter, the investigator travelled to Panama to continue field investigations with respect to individuals associated with the case. Information gained from the trip confirmed a number of crucial details that had thus far remained unclear.

The investigation continues with the generous support of the public. The initial wave of funding represents an incredible first step in the first-ever publically funded homicide investigation that intends to uncover what really happened to Keith Davis and the greater organised criminal threat layered within the fishing industry that he was highly likely trying to expose.

Thank you again and I will post more news as I am able.

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Hello Everyone! Thank you all for donating - we're at $1250 now ($1000 at GoFundMe and $250 on the Facebook donation page). Just as explanation - I put the goal at $15000 on the Facebook donation page because that is the goal for the investigator to get started so he can go to the destinations he has planned. There's a chance that depending on what is found, the rest will not be needed or we can reduce the goal of the GoFundMe one (currently estimated at $40,000. It's just hard to predict. We will update regularly as the investigator moves incrementally. It's really wonderful that we've gotten this far in just 3 days. Thank you all very much. Also, if anyone wants to look at the timeline regarding the details of what I knew at the time, please visit the Association for Professional Observers website at: http://www.apo-observers.org/docs/TIMELINE_FOR_POSTER.pdf
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Here's a link to some earlier reporting on his disappearance:
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/mysterious-disappearance-keith-davis/

This was a timeline of Keith's involvement in the Transshipment Observer Programmes: http://www.apo-observers.org/docs/Timeline_into_the_Disappearance_of_Keith_Davis.pdf
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$4,230 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 49 people in 4 months
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RW
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Robin Wolfe
13 days ago
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20 days ago
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Rachel Williams
21 days ago
LS
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Lisa Sullivan
22 days ago
KE
$30
Katarina Ericson
23 days ago
$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
TK
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2 months ago
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