Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Charging Ahead or Failing to Charge

After a family discovers a crime scene or reports a loved missing in cases where the spouse or former boyfriend is the likely the individual responsible for the murder or vanishing act it often creates an additional burden on law enforcement to follow through and properly investigate the case as a possible homicide.

In the case of Kelly Currin Morris, the 28-year-old mother of two, missing since September 3, 2008, police located her remains in a heavily wooded area last week. William "Scott" Morris (the husband)has been charged with first-degree murder and for burning a dwelling, shared by the couple and their children. It was burned down the day after Kelly was reported missing. He is being held without bond and likely will remain where he belongs, behind bars.

The law enforcement community did a remarkable job, otherwise William Scott Morris would still be a free man as we have often seen in other cases. It is not easy to investigate a case involving "intimate homicide."

Renee Pagel Case Still Unsolved

Still unresolved, and frankly outrageous, is the unsolved murder of Renee Pagel ,found stabbed to death in her bed recovering from surgery, (after donating aa kidney to a complete stranger) just days away from her divorce being finalized. According to close friends and relatives the grade school teacher and a registered nurse told others she was in "fear for her life." A week before her murder she changed the beneficiary of her life insurance policy from her estranged husband to a close family friend.

Her estranged husband, Michael Pagel, is the only person who has not voluntarily cooperated with police, nor has he provided an alibi to police for the night of Renee's murder. He retains custody of the couple's children.

As many women say when they are married to an abusive spouse, "if something happens to me, make sure people know it was not an accident." And, yet, in Rockford, Michigan detectives assigned to the case, in "name only," appear to have dropped the ball and the case file is sitting in a drawer collecting spiders, cob webs and dust.

Are cases like this more difficult because they already have the body, it's not that important, and no one is around to put pressure on investigating and ultimately charge the person responsible?

I realize a good defense attorney would attempt to kick a case like this to the curb. There would be media and a lot of mud slinging. But, a seasoned prosecutor would be able to win such a case and get a conviction.

Isn't the prosecutor the one who represents justice for the victim?

1 comment:

Ronni said...

Jason Young, husband of slain Michelle Young, still walks free, three years after her sister discovered her beaten body, surrounded by tiny bloody footprints of the Young's daughter. LE keeps saying there will be an arrest, but so far there has been nothing. He has not cooperated with police beyond the court-ordered DNA and photographs.

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