Courts & Crime

Husband charged with murder of woman who vanished

OXFORD, N.C. — More than a year after a young mother from Granville County was reported missing, her husband has been charged with her murder.

William Scott Morris, 35, of Creedmoor, N.C., was charged with first-degree murder late Tuesday, according to the arrest warrant. Authorities think he killed his wife, Kelly Currin Morris, then 28, in September 2008.

Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins Jr. wouldn't confirm that Kelly Morris' body had been found or provide other details about the case.

"We're doing the best we can,” Wilkins said. “I don't want to mess up anything we're doing by things getting out."

Morris’ skeletal remains were found just inside a fence at Tar River Fox Pen, a private hunting preserve outside Creedmoor, said Al Mignacci, who helped organize searches for Morris. Hundreds of volunteers searched for her in the days and weeks following her disappearance.

Kelly Morris vanished sometime after her stepmother saw her the night of Sept. 3 and before firefighters rushed to her house in Stem the next day to put out a fire. She had not shown up at work that day. Firefighters found no trace of her in the charred house.

The next day, deputies found Kelly Morris' car, with purse and keys inside, abandoned in an unfinished subdivision nearby. Authorities later determined that someone had torched the house she shared with her husband and her two daughters.

William Morris is being held without bail. He made a brief appearance in court this afternoon and is not scheduled back in court until Dec. 2.

The marriage of William and Kelly Morris produced one child, a daughter who is now six. On Tuesday morning, a District Court judge granted custody of the child to Kelly Morris’ parents, Pat and Juanita Currin.

The order said it was likely that William Morris was involved in his wife’s death and that his father, Jimmy Morris, “was also involved in the coverup of Kelly’s homicide.” The order also said that Morris had made false statements to investigators about his whereabouts and activities at the time of his wife’s disappearance.

The couple’s daughter had been living with William Morris and his father, according to the Judge Daniel Finch’s order.

Kelly Morris’ other daughter has been living with the child’s father.