Local News

Autopsy: Stem woman 'most likely' slain

Posted June 30, 2010 2:22 p.m. EDT

— The state's top medical examiner said he couldn't determine how a Stem woman died two years ago but that she "most likely" was killed, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.

Kelly Morris, 28, was last seen Sept. 3, 2008. The following day, the house she shared with her family, at 3220 Tump Wilkins Road in Stem, caught fire. Hours later, investigators found her car about a mile from her home with her keys, purse and cell phone inside.

Her skeletal remains were found Nov. 16 in the Tar River Fox Pen in southern Granville County.

North Carolina Chief Medical Examiner Dr. John Butts performed an autopsy on the remains the following day to make a positive identification and try to determine the cause of death.

"While the exact cause of death is not determined, the circumstances of her disappearance and the location of her ultimately discovered remains, in my opinion, indicate that her death was most likely the result of homicidal violence," Butts wrote in the autopsy report.

Morris' husband, William Scott Morris, 35, of 113 W. Church St. in Creedmoor, was arrested hours after her remains were found. He is charged with first-degree murder and fraudulently burning a dwelling, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.