Local News

Search warrant released in case of missing Granville woman

Posted September 25, 2008 2:14 p.m. EDT
Updated September 25, 2008 7:37 p.m. EDT

— A search warrant released Thursday shows inconsistencies in the statements that the husband and father-in-law of a missing Granville County woman gave investigators after she disappeared.

The warrant, executed Wednesday, shows investigators also seized fibers and a twig from the 1995 Ford pickup truck registered to the father of Scott Morris, whose wife, Kelly Morris, has been missing since Sept. 3.

Police found her burgundy, 2005 Honda Accord along with her keys, purse and cell phone in an undeveloped subdivision the next day, shortly after firefighters responded to a fire at the couple's home on Tump Wilkins Road in Stem.

Granville County authorities have said Scott Morris is a person of interest in his wife's disappearance, and the warrant details his account of what he did in the hours after he last saw his wife and what others recall.

According to the search warrant affidavit, investigators said Scott Morris last saw his wife at around 9:30 p.m. Sept. 3 when she went to look for a lost dog.

He told investigators he then took a shower and went to sleep in a room other than the couple's bedroom, because he did not want to be awakened and slept through the night, according to the affidavit.

Friends and family members said the couple was having marital problems and slept in separate rooms.

But James Morris, Scott Morris' father, told investigators that his son called him around 10 p.m. and asked him to watch the couple's children while he went to search for his wife.

Scott Morris never mentioned to his father a missing dog but said he believed his wife was cheating on him, investigators said.

Cell phone records indicate Scott Morris called his parents at 9:45 p.m. that night, received a call from his father's work cell phone at 10:59 p.m., and made a call to his father at 11:56 p.m., according to the warrant.

The search warrant also claims Scott Morris, a mechanic, might have changed an appointment the morning of the fire with a tow truck driver wanting to pick up a vehicle in a storage lot.

That driver, identified as Tim Rice, claimed Scott Morris called him at 5:45 a.m. wanting to change the appointment to 8 a.m. – Scott Morris told investigators Rice called him that morning wanting to meet but that he couldn't until then.

Rice told investigators that Scott Morris arrived at the storage lot between 8:05 and 8:15 a.m., stayed two or three minutes and asked Rice to lock the gate. Video surveillance footage shows Scott Morris leaving the vicinity of the storage lot at 8:14 a.m.

Scott Morris said that he went straight to a Hardee's restaurant on West Lyon Station Road in Butner immediately after leaving the storage lot, according to his affidavit.

Footage from a Shell gas station near the Hardee's shows what appears to be Scott Morris' Geo Tracker approaching from the direction of his home, not the storage lot, at 9:09 a.m., according to the search warrant.

The warrant says that Hardee's video surveillance cameras show him entering the restaurant at 9:10 a.m. and leaving five minutes later in the direction of his home.

A 911 caller reported the fire at the Morris' home at 11:19 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the family dogs were outside, according to the search warrant. One of the Morris' children told investigators the dogs were locked in their crates when their father took them to school that morning.

Investigators have previously said that there was no sign that Kelly Morris was in the home when it burned. At the time the fire was discovered, Scott Morris was at work and their two children were at school, authorities said. The fire has been classified as arson.

Granville County sheriff's investigators are asking anyone with information about the fire or Morris' disappearance to contact them at 919-693-3213.