Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

U.S.

Body of missing girl found in empty Las Vegas lot

splitLVcase.jpg

This split photo shows 10-year-old Jade Morris, left, who was last seen with 50-year-old Brenda Stokes. (AP)

The weeklong search for a Las Vegas girl ended Friday afternoon when officials confirmed that a small body found in an undeveloped housing tract belonged to the missing child.

The Clark County coroner's office said a body discovered Thursday belongs to 10-year-old Jade Morris, who police had been searching for since Christmas Day. She died of multiple stab wounds, the coroner's office said.

Jade was last seen Dec. 21 with family friend Brenda Stokes Wilson, who picked her up to go Christmas shopping.

Wilson, 50, returned the car she had borrowed for the outing to a friend two hours later. Jade never came back.

Investigators later found blood on the driver's door and steering wheel of the 2007 Saab sedan.

Later that night, Wilson was wrestled to the ground with razors in each hand after allegedly slashing the face of a female co-worker at the Bellagio casino.

A judge raised her bail to from $60,000 to $600,000 on Friday morning after she was identified as the prime suspect in the child's killing.

"As soon as we get all the evidence in that we need, we'll book her on the murder charges," Las Vegas police homicide Capt. Chris Jones said.

Wilson has been jailed since the 21st on felony battery with a weapon, burglary and mayhem charges that could get her decades in prison.

Police said she offered no help in the search for the missing girl. Murder and kidnapping charges could get her life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

On Thursday, Las Vegas police responding to a 911 call found a girl's body in unkempt brush near palm trees in a small traffic circle about 10 miles from the downtown Las Vegas outlet mall where Stokes was to have taken the girl shopping.

On Friday evening, Jones called the slaying "unfathomable."

"Even having our jobs, we still can't wrap our heads around this," he said. "A lot of people think that just because of our positions we can understand it, but we can't."

In court Friday morning, Wilson stood flanked by eight police officers as her lawyer, Tony Liker, clutching a Bible and a copy of the charging documents, asked the judge to postpone arraignment until Wednesday to give him time to meet with Wilson.

Wilson, who had been identified by police and prosecutors as Brenda Stokes, told the judge Friday that her full name was Brenda Stokes Wilson.

Jade's father, Philip Morris, was removed from court Wednesday by armed court officers after shouting questions about his daughter's whereabouts to Wilson. He did not attend Friday's hearing.

The two dated for several years, and Jade had a long and trusting relationship with Wilson, according to the girl's grandfather, Philip Tucker.

Tucker said Philip Morris lived in Billings, Mont., and worked at a Flying J truck stop for more than a year. He would stay with Wilson when he visited Las Vegas, Tucker said.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the slaying. But Tucker said Wilson appeared to believe that the face-slashing victim had become romantically involved with Philip Morris.

Wilson picked up Jade up for their shopping expedition around 5 p.m. Later, she got a ride with a friend to the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip. She allegedly attacked her co-worker, Joyce Rhone, around 9:30 p.m.

Rhone, 44, was hospitalized with deep cuts on her face, including one from her ear to the edge of her mouth.

Wilson told investigators that she visited her doctor last week, seeking to be admitted to a hospital "due to feeling like she wanted to hurt someone."

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.02% up 3.98%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.13% up 2.98%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.27% up 4.14%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.12% up 3.00%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.45% dw 3.52%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.67% up 4.32%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.03% up 3.99%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.99% dw 5.00%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.35% dw 4.36%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.35% dw 4.36%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.69% dw 2.83%  
36 M Used Graph 3.18% dw 3.36%  
48 M New Graph 3.02% dw 3.15%  
48 M Used Graph 2.91% dw 3.00%  
60 M New Graph 3.06% dw 3.17%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.39% -- 0.39%  
1 yr Graph 0.70% up 0.69%  
5 yr Graph 1.50% -- 1.50%