'Kalynda was shackled, had her hair cut off and thought she was going to be shot.'



Kalynda and her dad via Myspace






“Think of a parent’s worst nightmare and multiply it by 10.”

You have heard about Kalynda Davis.

She’s the young Sydney woman who was reported missing by her family, only to turn up in a Chinese jail, facing a possible death sentence for drug trafficking.

But what we haven’t heard until now is what it was like in there for Kalynda.  Now, her father is talking about it.

Larry Davis, dad to 22-year-old Kalynda, the young woman accused of smuggling methamphetamine from Australia to China has spoken to The Western Weekender this week.

Larry has shared his story, revealing what his family went through during the month his daughter was detained in China. And he has spoken about what it was like to be a parent helplessly waiting for what seemed like forever – all the time knowing that his daughter was innocent.

“Her and I are close, as close as any father and daughter could be. I never once thought that she had done anything wrong,” he told the Weekender.

Ms Davis, from Penrith in Sydney’s West had been reported missing by her family on November 5th after she failed to return from a trip to China. The family had no idea at the time that she had been accused of trying to smuggle 75kg of methamphetamine in to China and was being detained there.


When they did hear the news, the family were in shock.

“I knew she was so innocent. I prayed every night that the truth would come out, I prayed for the authorities, that it was dealt with in the way that it was dealt with, and our prayers were answered,” Mr Davis told the Weekender.

Ms Davis had been travelling with a man named Peter Gardiner, who she had recently met on online dating app, Tinder. Both travellers were arrested in Guangzhou International Airport on November 8th.

She had been travelling with Peter Gardiner.

Her parents were mostly kept in the dark while Ms Davis was in detention. She was not allowed to contact anyone from the outside world. The Westerner reported that she was shackled, and had her long hair cut in to a short bob.

“It is like any detention centre, you have a small area to sleep and that’s it. The way that the Chinese authorities treated and respected her was incredible. Although conditions were not the best, their treatment of her was very respectful,” Mr Davis told the Penrith publication.

Being kept in the dark was very hard for both parents, the emotions they went through are hard for them to explain.

“I don’t know what I have been feeling this past month, it is like I have been brain-dead. Think of a parent’s worst nightmare and multiply it by 10, that’s what we went through. I know my daughter, I know my daughter – it was just my worst nightmare,” Mr Davis told the Weekender.


On Friday December 5th, they found out that Ms Davis was being released. When they first heard the  news they broke down in tears. They barely got any sleep that night because they knew it wasn’t over until their daughter was home safely.

Mr Davis flew to Guangzhou on Saturday morning, December 6. His plan was to meet his youngest child and bring her home.

Kalynda’s dad brought her home.

“When I saw her for the first time, I just collapsed. She didn’t know that I was coming either. She kept saying ‘I’m sorry dad, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it’,” he told the Weekender.

“When we hit the tarmac in Sydney, we both just cried.”

Their experience was like a living hell, and it was only because of the support from the close community that both parents got through.

“[In the beginning] we never slept, we walked around aimlessly but with the support of others our outlook changed. We were in the depths of despair but we grew into a family of hope,” Mr Davis told the Weekender.

While Ms Davis was released, Mr Gardiner remains in detention.