Cops: Stays recognized as Alabama man who vanished in 1991


More than 30 years after Jerome Morris vanished from his residence in Heflin, Alabama, authorities introduced the case is now a murder investigation.

Screengrab from a Jerome Morris Facebook group.

Days earlier than Thanksgiving in 1991, the household of an 18-year-old watched as he hopped in a automotive and drove off with a buddy in Alabama.

This was the final time anybody would see or hear from him — and for greater than 30 years, nobody knew what occurred to him.

On April 22, the Heflin Police Department lastly recognized the stays of a physique present in 1997 because the younger man who went lacking: Jerome Morris.

After ”the vacations got here and went” and Morris’ household nonetheless hadn’t heard something from him, they reported him lacking, in response to an April 27 information convention from the police division.

The seek for Morris went on for years with no luck.

In August 1997, police stated a landowner was surveying his property earlier than constructing a brand new dwelling when he got here throughout what he thought had been stays of a deer.

After a more in-depth look, he realized they had been human, in response to police.

Authorities stated the stays had been discovered on the sting of the landowner’s property, bordering the Talladega National Forest, they usually had been partially coated by leaves and particles however “there appeared to be no attempt to bury them.”

Authorities tried to check the stays for DNA on the time, however they had been unsuccessful as a result of they’d been outdoors for a number of years.

The case went chilly till 2020, when Ross McGlaughn turned the brand new police chief and was decided to reopen previous chilly circumstances, in response to Heflin Police.

The Jerome Morris case was one in all them.

The police division stated it collaborated with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, which ready the stays and shipped them to a personal laboratory in Canada.

On April 22, 2022, after assist from the forensics lab and an area genealogist, authorities had been lastly capable of establish the stays as Jerome Morris and notified his household.

“I know it comes as bittersweet news to them, but now we can actually work this as a homicide instead of a missing persons,” Capt. Scott Bonner stated throughout a information convention.

While police wouldn’t give specifics to how Morris died, Bonner stated investigators have proof and potential witnesses that cause them to imagine there was “no doubt it was a homicide.”

Authorities stated they know of a possible motive for the killing and imagine that the suspect on this case knew Morris.

“Some people out there know what happened,” Police Chief McGlaughn stated within the convention, including that they may now sift by way of info from the final three a long time and decide what’s “small town rumor mill” and what are factual leads.

Cassandre Coyer is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter protecting the southeast whereas primarily based in Washington D.C. She’s an alumna of Emerson College in Boston and joined McClatchy in 2022. Previously, she’s written for The Christian Science Monitor, RVA Mag, The Untitled Magazine, and extra.

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