Local News

Missing woman's husband detained after skeletal remains found

Posted November 17, 2009 6:48 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2009 11:47 a.m. EST

— WRAL News has learned that investigators believe skeletal remains found Tuesday afternoon belong to missing Stem mother Kelly Morris.

Her husband, Scott Morris, was taken into custody and was being booked late Tuesday at the Oxford magistrate's office.

A judge has signed a court order granting emergency custody of the Morrises' 6-year-old daughter to her maternal grandparents. A hearing will be held Friday.

Kelly Morris, 28, was last seen at her home on Sept. 3, 2008.

The following day, the house she shared with her family, including her husband, caught fire, which officials ruled was arson. Hours afterward, authorities found Morris' car about a mile from her home with her keys, purse and cell phone inside.

Since her disappearance, authorities and volunteers have searched numerous times to find her.

Investigators are awaiting confirmation of the official identity of the remains from the State Medical Examiner's Office.

The sheriff would not say Tuesday what the charges against Scott Morris are, and officials would not allow WRAL News access to the arrest paperwork, which is a matter of public record.

Investigators have called Scott Morris a person of interest in her disappearance, and he has been a focus of investigators in multiple search warrants related to the case.

Family members and friends told authorities the couple was having marital problems and had talked about divorce, investigators’ affidavits say. They also indicate inconsistencies between Scott Morris' account and those of others regarding his actions in the hours after he says he last saw his wife and the following day.