Published Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 | 3:30 p.m.
Updated Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 | 6:15 p.m.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office has identified the body found Thursday in North Las Vegas as missing 10-year-old girl Jade Morris.
In a news release Friday afternoon, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said Morris, who had been missing since Dec. 21, died from multiple stab and incised wounds. Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy said the identification was done using facial recognition, clothing and dental records. A DNA analysis is pending, said Murphy, who ruled the girl's death as a homicide.
Morris was last seen around 5 p.m. Dec. 21 when she left her house with 50-year-old Brenda Stokes, a former acquaintance of the girl’s father. Later Friday, Stokes was arrested for an attack on a co-worker at the Bellagio casino. Morris was not with Stokes when she was arrested for slashing the face of blackjack dealer Joyce Rhone, who survived the attack.
On Thursday afternoon, a man walking his dog in an unfinished housing development near North Fifth Street and Dorell Lane in North Las Vegas wandered upon Morris’ body.
Stokes has been charged with burglary, battery with a deadly weapon and mayhem with a deadly weapon related to the attack at the Bellagio and remains in the Clark County Detention Center with bail set at $600,000.
After authorities said they would move deliberately in filing charges in Morris’ death, the Clark County Detention Center inmate database indicated that Stokes was rebooked Friday night with additional charges. Stokes was charged with first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon.
"What we now have is confirmation that we are investigating a homicide,” said Officer Bill Cassell, Metro Police spokesman.
A spokeswoman from District Attorney Steve Wolfson’s office had said that any charges in the homicide would not be filed until after police have completed their paperwork on the case.
In a news conference Thursday after the discovery of the body, Metro Capt. Chris Jones said Stokes was not being cooperative with police regarding Morris’ disappearance.
Family members said it was not unusual for Stokes and Morris to be together.
Phil Tucker, Morris’ paternal grandfather, said Morris knew Stokes and loved her. They often went shopping together, Tucker said.
“That’s probably the saddest part,” he said.
Tucker said Stokes and Rhone, the victim in the attack at the Bellagio, were “best friends” who socialized outside of work, including a birthday party for Stokes in November.
But, Tucker said, Stokes “thought my son and Joyce (Rhone) were too friendly at the birthday party.”
A police report on Stokes' arrest in the Bellagio case noted Stokes had been struggling with anxiety the week of the attack.
Stokes, who reported that she periodically takes Xanax for anxiety, told police she had gone to her doctor that week and said she felt like she needed to be admitted to the hospital because she might hurt someone, the report said.
During a court hearing Friday morning, chief deputy district attorney Robert Daskas said police found blood on and inside the car Stokes drove to pick up Morris. Police also recovered bloody clothes from inside Stokes’ apartment unit, Daskas said.