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Daughter wants answers in father’s senseless death

Kim Davenport looks family photos as she recalls her father's life her home Monday. Zan Davenport wsd found beaten death

Kim Davenport looks at family photos as she recalls her father's life at her home on Monday. Zan Davenport wsd found beaten to death Saturday. | Post-Tribune

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Updated: December 16, 2013 9:38PM

GARY — Kim Davenport was at work Saturday evening when the call came to get to her father’s apartment right away.

As she left her job at the Majestic Star Casino, her thought was that Zan Davenport, 75, had suffered a stroke, like he did 10 years ago.

But the news was much worse.

Zan Davenport, who lived alone in his Greenbriar apartment at 102 E. 53rd Ave. at the Gary-Merrillville border, had been bludgeoned to death. He was found in his living room, where he had been attacked.

Detective James Bond said there were no signs of forced entry into the apartment where the victim had lived for nine years.

“If he had died from another stroke, we would be heartbroken, but such a violence against him ... ” his daughter said Monday at her Merrillville apartment. “I don’t understand why anyone would do this.”

Her brother, who serves in the U.S. Army, is returning from El Paso, Texas, so they can complete their father’s funeral arrangements together.

Zan Davenport had retired from U.S. Steel Gary Works after 31 years. He had raised his two children, Kim and Michael, on his own after his wife died while they were still young. His daughter said his only vice was doting on her daughter, his first grandchild, Kyair, 19.

“They went to breakfast, then they went to Wal-Mart. That was their routine,” she said.

Neighbors in the apartment building could count on Zan Davenport for plates of home-cooked food at every holiday. Despite the weakness on his left side from the stroke, he kept busy with his granddaughter and helping relatives with construction projects. His love of Christmas was evident. When the apartment managers stopped decorating, Zan Davenport bought wreaths and snowmen and hung them outside the building himself, his daughter recalled.

After his stroke, her father fought to regain his independence. “If I had to describe him, it would be ‘strong,’” she said, adding that she can’t imagine how someone could get control of her father to beat him.

“We don’t know when it happened, how it happened, if he suffered,” she said, as she began to cry,

“It takes a really cruel person to do something like this. If it was about asking him for something, he would give it to them.”

Kim Davenport hopes someone with information about her father’s killer will call police and tell what they know. “Nobody deserves this,” she said.

Detective James Bond can be reached at 881-4751. The police department’s anonymous tip line is 866-274-6347.

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