Published Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 | 3:29 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.
A grim discovery Thursday in the northern stretches of the Las Vegas Valley has authorities trying to determine whether the case of a missing 10-year-old is now a homicide.
Authorities say a man walking his dog today in an unfinished housing development near North Fifth Street and Dorrell Lane in North Las Vegas wandered upon the body of a small, black female. They would not describe the injuries of the deceased.
Capt. Chris Jones of Metro’s homicide division would not confirm the body was that of 10-year-old Jade Morris, who has been missing for six days. Nor would Jones describe how the deceased died.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office will release the identity after an autopsy is performed on the body, but Jones indicated in all likelihood the youngster was dead.
Morris has been missing since 5 p.m. Friday 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.
Media reports indicate the girl’s family members believe the girl’s father, Stokes and Rhone were involved in a love triangle that prompted Friday night’s attack.
Stokes was charged Wednesday with burglary, battery with a deadly weapon and mayhem with a deadly weapon. She remained in the Clark County Detention Center with bail set at $60,000.
At today’s news conference, Jones confirmed Stokes was not being cooperative with police regarding Morris’ disappearance.
Earlier Thursday, a group of volunteers from the Red Rock Search and Rescue/Recovery group began looking for Morris in a sparsely populated area south of the Everett Apartments in the far southwestern valley near West Windmill Road and South Rainbow Boulevard. The search was called off this afternoon shortly after Metro announced its discovery.
Morris’ grandfather was among the 75 or so volunteers and told reporters Stokes often would pick up Jade for visits.
“It really wasn’t uncommon for her to come by and take (Jade) somewhere,” Tucker said as he prepared to join in the search with the Red Rock volunteers. “We had no reason to think (Stokes) would hurt (Jade).”
Tucker and an aunt of Jade Morris attended the news conference Thursday afternoon but did not comment to the Sun.
Stokes told police after the Friday night attack that she periodically takes Xanax for anxiety, according to a police report. Stokes also told police she visited her doctor earlier in the week, feeling like she needed to be admitted to the hospital because she might hurt someone, the report said.