Earlham man arrested on vehicular homicide charges in West Des Moines I-35 hit-and-run


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — An Earlham man has been arrested and is facing vehicular homicide charges in connection with the death of a woman found along I-35 in West Des Moines earlier this month.

Sgt. Jason Heintz with the West Des Moines Police Department tells WHO 13 that 19-year-old Frank Davidson was arrested Monday night and booked into the Polk County Jail.

The arrest stems from the death of 38-year-old Stephanie Waddell of Oskaloosa, whose body was found along I-35 on May 9th.

Davidson is charged with homicide by vehicle – operating while under the influence, homicide by vehicle – reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

According to criminal complaints filed in the case, around 11:51 p.m. on May 8th Iowa DOT cameras captured Davidson “veering off the public roadway and striking the victim causing death.”

It happened around mile marker 70.5 on I-35 northbound, just north of Mills Civic Parkway. The complaint says Davidson drove a short distance, pulled over and made several calls to family and friends before leaving the scene.

Witnesses told investigators prior to the crash Davidson had been drinking at a party. They said he “had slurred speech, impaired balance, and was drinking straight from a bottle of Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum.” He left the party in his vehicle.

The complaint says Davidson told them “a rock” struck his vehicle.

He is being held on a bond of $40,000.

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