Local News

Durham man goes missing in yellow Jeep

Posted June 4, 2012
Updated June 5, 2012

— Durham police investigators are searching for a 31-year-old man who was last seen nine days ago at his home on Kirk Road.

John Russell Morris spent May 25 at a Durham Bulls game, his friends said Monday. After the game, he said he was driving to Kroger, but he and his yellow Jeep Wrangler have not been seen since.

His roommate, Douglas Wright, said Morris' disappearance is completely out of character.

"(He's) one of the most dependable guys you'd run into," Wright said. "(He's) not answering his cellphone. He didn't show up for work Monday night."

Most concerning, Wright said, is that Morris would never leave without making arrangements for his cat. The pet belonged to his late mother.

Morris is an only child, his father is also deceased and he has no other family in the area. That's why Morris' friends John, Crystal and Shannon Ignatowski have adopted him as part of their family.

Friends search for missing Durham man Friends search for missing Durham man

"His parents may be dead, but he's somebody's kid, he's somebody's friend," Shannon Ignatowski said. "We've kind of gotten this odd little family together. It's not blood, but it's a family."

She said they started a Facebook page and are working with police to try to find Morris.

"He's an important part of our lives," she said.

Wright said he's worried, but hopeful that his roommate will come home.

"The longer he's gone, the less likely he's going to come back," he said.

Morris is white, with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. He is about 5 feet 11 inches tall and sometimes wears glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (919) 560-4427.


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  • Seeminglyopposed Jun 6, 2012

    Too many people are going missing lately. What is going on, we all have to start being aware of our surroundings at all times. It is sad to think that you can't even give people a ride anymore because you may not make it to your next destination. It is very hard to trust those that you may consider friends.SBT

  • CodeNameJade Jun 5, 2012

    charmcclainlovesdogs2, I don't know who you think I am or why you are so angry, but I don't know this man. However, I do have sympathy for his plight and his friends concerns. According to news stories it does seem like the only reason something is now being done is that it was made public knowledge by getting media attention. Maybe if the word had been put out sooner some people could have been constantly looking. I don't live in or near Durham, but I will certainly be keeping an eye out in my area. I hope you do too.

  • kikinc Jun 5, 2012

    Waiting 9 days to release information about a missing person isn't the cops doing all they can do. They may have had more information if the public had heard about this sooner.

  • CodeNameJade Jun 5, 2012

    Scary that a person can be missing for so long without the police doing anything to begin looking. Imagine how many others go unreported. Thank goodness this man has friends who care for him and pressed to get the news out. I truly hope he is found safe. WRAL, please post updates on this story, and also if able, maybe the plate number on the jeep. It's hard to recognize a person from photos but a yellow jeep should stand out. Let's get as many eyes as possible looking out for it and for him.

  • Toe Jam Jun 5, 2012

    Every time I see a case like this, I can't help but think he went off the road into a ravine out of eyesight or even submerged in water. Not sure why that is, but it would be where I focus looking if I were a friend. Let the police handle cell tower pings and credit card usage.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Jun 5, 2012

    Find the jeep and you will find him. But how can anyone not see that bold yellow jeep. Praying that they will find him soon. Did he leave on his own or did someone help him leave?

  • storchheim Jun 5, 2012

    Con Amor, you've reminded us of a story that is shameful and the devastation can't be undone. I'm not going to insult everyone's intelligence by saying the non-attention definitely had nothing to do with his Hispanic name. We don't know, but history is what it is.

    That said, we also saw a story in the last couple of weeks about a woman who had been living here illegally, had a 9 yo daughter (but the photo must have been at 3 or 4), and said her lawyer misled her. We had another story farther back about a homeless black couple. I have yet to see a story about the plight of a white illegal, though there's a faction that points to white illegals in the course of declaring that we hate latino illegals because they're brown-skinned. No stories about white homeless either.

    Point is, I don't think it's quite fair to imply that this story was ignored because of the victim's ethnicity.

  • MARX Jun 5, 2012

    Didn't there used to be a way to vote for stories so they stayed current or fresh longer? Just thinking this kind of story needs more attention...

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jun 5, 2012



  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Jun 5, 2012

    I sure hope that he is found safe. There are too many of these cases in Durham here lately.. They give a little "alert" and you hear nothing else of em.. As I do with all of these cases, I will remind the public & WRAL of Luciano Alejandro Cabrera. A good kid. Reported missing to the Durham Co police JUNE 10th 2011. In the wee hrs of the morning of June 11th an unknown male was caught on camera using Lucianos bank card. But the picture and alert didnt go out to the public until JULY 26th!! Just a small brief story was told. Even though there are perfect full face photos of the unknown male at the ATM. Then on AUGUST 19th 2011, Lucianos car was found with his remains locked in the trunk... He had a family who's world have been shattered, yet because he is not a blonde haired blue eyed female, his story goes untold and his killer still walks free. But I keep the picture of the guy at the ATM in my phone. I do hope to see him out & about one day and hope to help see his case to a close.