Husband of missing mom tracks search team

October 2, 2008 10:54:57 AM PDT
Volunteers with a search and rescue team based in Orange County helped with the search for missing Granville County mother on Thursday.

Sources close to the case tell Eyewitness News the volunteers have told investigators Kelly Currin Morris' husband was spotted following the group during their search.

Investigators have named William Scott Morris a person of interest in a fire at the couple's home and his wife's sudden disappearance nearly a month ago.

The mother of two went missing September 4, the same day her home mysteriously caught fire off Tump Wilkins Road in Stem. Her vehicle was discovered less than a mile from her home with her purse, keys and cell phone locked inside.

Dozens of volunteers have spent several weeks searching for Kelly. Relatives are calling for more assistance as their search moves beyond Granville County. Volunteers were in Durham this week along Angier Avenue after receiving a tip. But, there was still no sign of the missing mother.

Investigators are following every potential lead, including a discovery made last week. The State Bureau of Investigation lab is analyzing a gas can and a t-shirt found by volunteers near Brassfield and Hawley School roads. A special K-9 unit was dispatched afterward to comb the area.

While the gas can and shirt were first believed to be from the Morris home, investigators tell Eyewitness News they don't expect forensic tests to net any significant clues in the disappearance of Kelly Currin Morris.

Meanwhile, detectives continue to conduct multiple interviews in the case, including acquaintances of the couple. Investigators said they spoke to potential witnesses in the late evening hours on Wednesday.

According to search warrants, William Scott Morris is the focus of a criminal investigation. At least three search warrants in the case remain sealed, according to court officials.

Another warrant served last week said Scott Morris was the last to see his wife alive on Wednesday, September 3. The warrant suggests he has given investigators conflicting statements about his wife's whereabouts and what he was doing the after her disappearance.

In an interview, he said his wife went looking for their lost dog around 9:30 p.m. while he showered and then went to bed.

But, phone records show Scott called his father at 9:45 p.m., asking him watch the couple's children while he went to search for Kelly. Scott believed Kelly was cheating on him, according to an affidavit.

When his father arrived, Scott left in a green 1996 Toyota pickup truck. Investigators have since seized the vehicle and removed fibers as well as a twig from the truck as part of their investigation.

Scott's statements about his whereabouts in the hours before the couple's home caught fire conflict with other witness interviews and surveillance video at a local restaurant.

According to the warrant, Scott said he was awakened by an early morning phone call from another tow truck driver that wanted to meet at Scott's storage lot on the morning of September 4. But, the driver told investigators it was Scott who phoned him to postpone the previously planned meeting by two hours.

During that time, Scott said he stopped by the BP Station on Main Street in Creedmoor, where he worked, before taking his daughters to school. He met the driver at the storage lot around 8 a.m. Video surveillance at the storage lot confirmed their meeting.

Scott also told investigators he went directly to a Hardee's restaurant in Butner and then returned to his job in Creedmoor, taking Highway 56 to Main Street. But, surveillance images show he arrived at the restaurant nearly an hour after leaving the storage lot.

When he left the Hardee's parking lot at 9:15 a.m., he turned in the opposite direction that he told investigators he had traveled, according to the warrant.

Two hours later, the home he shared with his wife, daughter and stepdaughter was engulfed in flames. The children have told investigators their dogs were locked inside their crates before they left for school. But, investigators said when firefighters arrived at the scene, the dogs were outside.

Multiple interviews with Kelly's friends and family suggest the couple had a difficult marriage that often turned violent. According to the warrant, Scott had "punched holes in the wall during arguments and once threw a computer out of a window."

Wanda Hollis, Kelly's mother, told Eyewitness News her daughter had planned to divorce her husband and had sought the help of an attorney. She was starting a new job in Raleigh on the same day she disappeared. Her hope was to save enough money to leave the marriage peacefully, Hollis said.

Morris' relatives said they will continue their search efforts over the weekend. But, they need more volunteers to sign up.

"I pray everyday that she is found," Hollis said. "Of course, I want closure and to help me make it through everyday."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Granville County Sheriff's Office.


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