(NECN: Greg Wayland) - She was just a beautiful young girl working a jewelry store when she met Stephen Flemmi, the dark-haired Italian guy who would charm her and shower her with gifts as they dated.
She was 26 that day at her apartment in Randolph, Mass. when she got a call from Flemmi, even though she'd been trying to break up with him.
In 2000, her mother Olga Davis, was with her that day, Sept. 17, 1981, the day Debbi got the call.
"She got up. She hugged and kissed me, said, 'I love you, Momma,' and left. And I've never seen her since," she recalled.
Olga, living in Foxboro in 1999, told me she hoped someone would find her daughter.
"I'm going to be very sad to hear what happened to her, but at least I'll be happy, it's a closer. I'll know where she is," she said.
It was October, 2000, working on a lead from Bulger cohort-turned-government witness Kevin Weeks that Debbi Davis's remains were found under the Neponset River Bridge.
The moment mingled triumph and sorrow for crews that had sifted through tons of dirt and debris in their search.
Debbie Davis had lain 19 years in the black mud and seagrass just below the water line of the Neponset Rive, as close as three feet from where frustrated investigators had searched for her before.
For Davis's family at that time -- the moment deepened the grief.
While Debra had been trying to break off her relationship with Flemmi -- the infamous "Rifleman", the violent mob enforcer turned informant and Whitey bulger's constant companion in crime and intimidation -- she had come to know to much about her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend's true profession.
Olga Davis was asked what role she believed Steve Flemmi played in her daughter's murder?
"An evil role. A bad role. I'd like to meet him face to face so he can see what he's done to my whole family. And myself," she said.
Olga died in April 2007, never knowing the rest of Debra's story.
But let's remember this: to the cameras on the scene they day they found her, it seemed that blue-clad law enforcement team wheeling Debra's remains from her muddy criminal grave had the appearance of an honor guard. There was dignity, and respect at last for one of the many Bulger victims buried in shallow graves of sand and mud.