Bar worker is arrested in deaths of 6

Arizona police find body of woman in camper

April 14, 2003|By Tom Gorman | Tom Gorman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PHOENIX - A 24-year-old bar worker has been arrested on suspicion of killing a half a dozen prostitutes since July and dumping the bodies of four of them alongside his neighbor's house, police said yesterday.

The body of a fifth victim had been found a few blocks away. But it was the discovery of a sixth body Saturday, in a pickup camper parked in a back yard, that led police to the arrest of the suspect in a mystery that had gripped the neighborhood.

The last body was discovered by the property owner. Investigating the source of a foul odor in the camper that was used occasionally by his nephew, he made the grim finding and called police.

Authorities found a woman's body in the camper, and arrested Cory Deonn Morris at a nearby bar, where he operated its karaoke machine.

"He made statements about his involvement in these matters," said police Detective Tony Morales. "He pretty much confessed to the killings.

"The victims were all prostitutes who he was meeting in the area," Morales said. "They agreed to go with him back to the RV for sex, drugs and money. During that time, they were killed."

Morales said he could not discuss how the victims were killed. "High levels of cocaine contributed to the deaths," he said, "but there was something else."

It was hard to dismiss the deaths as unrelated accidental drug overdoses because four of the bodies - three of them nude - were found in the Garfield neighborhood of Phoenix, about a mile from the Arizona Diamondbacks' downtown baseball stadium.

Tom Gorman is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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