Father suspected in family’s death captured

CNN, Jan. 4, 2003

BAKER CITY, Oregon (CNN) — An Oregon man charged with killing his pregnant wife and three children was captured Saturday in downtown Baker City, ending a two-week manhunt, a law enforcement official said.

“He (Morris) looked a little surprised, but he didn’t say anything and complied with all of our demands, and we cuffed him up and put him in the car,” Schrade said.

Morris was charged last week with seven counts of aggravated murder for the deaths of Renee Morris, 31, and children Bryant, 10, Alexis, 8, and Johnathan, 4. The three additional counts were filed because the children were younger than 14.

Family members reported them missing when they failed to return from a trip as expected.

Hunters found one of the bodies December 21 in a remote part of Tillamook State Forest, about 40 miles west of Portland. Local authorities found the other bodies nearby soon afterward.

Morris was being held at a secure location, and FBI agents and Tillamook County authorities were on their way to Baker City, Shirtcliff said.

The woman who spotted Morris near Baker City pulled off the freeway to call police. After she made the call, she was returning to the highway and passed Morris, who had also pulled off.

“We did a U-turn and we went and followed him and he went and turned into Rite Aid and we turned into Safeway and we called the cops and oh my God it was so awesome!” said Linda Martin, who said she saw pictures of Morris’ van and license plate on the news.

Baker City is in eastern Oregon, near the Idaho border. The Morris family lived in Portland, and the bodies of his wife and children were found in Tillamook County, on the state’s western coast.

A clerk at a motel in The Dalles reported seeing Morris there on December 20, the day before the bodies were discovered, and he was also later spotted at a gas station. On Thursday, Morris’ parents and siblings made a public plea for him to surrender.

The FBI offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of Morris.

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