Fugitive accused of killing his family used name of famous evangelist as alias
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Friday January 3, 2003
The Canadian Press, Jan. 3, 2002
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An alias used by a fugitive accused of killing his pregnant wife and three children was also the name of a Portland-born missionary murdered in Ecuador in the 1950s. extremely religious.
Police accuse Morris of killing his 31-year-old Renee Morris and the couple’s children – Bryant, 10, Alexis, 8, and Jonathan, 4 – on Dec. 20 in Tillamook County.
The sighting of Morris in The Dalles is one of two confirmed reports since the bodies were discovered in the snowy Tillamook State Forest. Morris also paid cash at a filling station in Edmonds, Wash., between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Dec. 21, said Charles Mathews, special agent in charge of the Portland FBI.
Mathews said Thursday than an attendant wrote down Morris’ licence plate number. Officials did not say why the clerk wrote down the information, but said police were reviewing surveillance video from the gas station.
The police also received a credible tip that a woman in British Columbia saw Morris on Dec. 28, several Portland television stations have reported.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 US for information leading to Morris’ arrest, Mathews said.
Morris could be driving a 1993 grey Dodge Caravan with licence plates WSH 171, stocked with camping gear and sporting the bumper stickers Promise Keepers and Luis Palau, the name of a Beaverton, Ore.,-based evangelist.
“The van is hugely important,” Mathews said. “It’s something you don’t easily dispose of.”
Morris’ father, Paul Morris, pleaded with his son Thursday to turn himself in.
“I would like to make an appeal to you to immediately surrender yourself to the closest authorities,” he said, flanked by his wife, and two of Morris’ half-siblings. “If you need us to help you do this, call one of us, and we will meet you somewhere and help you through this.”
Morris is described as six feet tall, about 200 pounds, with short brown hair and glasses. He could have shaved his head, grown facial hair and removed his glasses, officials said.
Officials also stressed that Morris may have switched vehicles, or stolen a new licence plate and could now be anywhere.
“We don’t want to focus in on any one area,” said Mathews. “By this time … he could be anywhere in the world. Since the 20th and 21st, we’ve had nothing confirmed.”
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