The search for 10-year-old Jade Morris took a grim turn on Friday, as Las Vegas police confirmed that a body had been found, but not yet identified as the young girl who disappeared a week ago. Morris was last seen with family friend Brenda Stokes Wilson, who claimed she was taking the girl Christmas shopping last Friday. Wilson was later arrested on the casino floor of the Bellagio, where she worked as a card dealer. The 50-year-old allegedly slashed co-worker Joyce Rhone in the face with a razor blade, and denied having ever picked up Morris after being taken into custody.
‘I don’t have a clue where she is. I can’t imagine where she could be,” Jade’s father, Philip Morris, who was engaged to Wilson, told local TV station KTNV. “For some reason I kinda have a feeling inside that says she’s all right. Maybe it’s wishful thinking.”
On Friday, police found the body of a young girl in the brush near the Las Vegas outlet mall that Stookes claimed she was taking Morris to shop for gifts. While police were reluctant to announce that the body was in fact Jade Morris, Capt. Chris Jones told CBS reporters “I can tell you that the likelihood is that this is our victim.”
Wilson remains in Clark County jail for charges including felony battery with a weapon, burglary and mayhem, and authorities have made it clear that they will pursue additional charges for murder and kidnapping. Police have not released a possible motive behind the crimes, but Morris’s grandfather Philip Tucker suggested that Jade could have become the victim of a love triangle between Rhone, Wilson and Philip Morris.
“Whatever was going on with them didn’t concern Jade,” Tucker said to the Associated Press. “How do you take a kid who loves you so much and hurt her?”
Blood found on the driver’s door and steering wheel of the car Wilson was driving on the night of Morris’s disappearance is currently being tested. She had borrowed the car from a friend, but returned it just two hours after family members last saw her picking up Jade at 5 p.m. that day. Wilson attacked Rhone at the Bellagio around 9:30 p.m. according to the Associated Press.