For Kathy's Sake, Inc. - Advocating for Katherine Morris Military Spouse Protection Act


NAACP 2015 Press Conference




May 5, 2015

 

 
Dear Rev. Tillet:


      First, thank you for the assistance your organization has rendered to my family in matters related to the death of Katherine Sarah Morris. 

 
     For three years the Morris family has asked for a complete investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of 22 year old Katherine Sarah Morris, (Katherine), a young African American woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning, as a result of a charcoal grill lit in her car. Her body was found in an Arundel Mills Mall parking lot.  The lead investigative agency on this case has been the Anne Arundel County Police Dept. (AACPD).  Other agency involvement lead back to ties with the AACPD.  We feel that they have repeatedly over the duration of 4 different police chiefs failed to give this matter a proper investigation.  Key evidence has been lost, tampered with and /or destroyed, as a result of a series of errors emanating from the AACPD.  We strongly feel that the civil rights of Katherine have been violated and as a result our ability to now find justice on her behalf have been seriously impaired.....

 
Background:

 
1.     August 3, 2011 Katherine Sarah Morris is duped into a fraudulent marriage by a United States Army soldier who continues a three year adulterous relationship with another woman.  The husband becomes the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy with no suicide clause.  March of 2012 the husband and the other woman make wedding plans.

 
2.     The victim obtains proof of the perpetrated fraud and adulterous relationship.  For unknown reasons on May 2, 2012 the other woman (another U.S. soldier) and another female (also a Dept. of the Army employee) using several aliases spend 3 hours attempting to communication with the victim.  On May 4, 2012, the victim threatens to go to military authorities with that proof.    

 
3.     Sat. May 5, 2015, the victim’s car enters the Arundel Mills Mall parking lot at approx. 6 pm.

 
4.     The car and victim are under the scrutiny of three different parking lot surveillance camera’s all of which were operational on May 5 and 6 of 2012.   The victim parks in overflow lot for movie theater parking.  The victim is found by mall security, and pronounced dead at 5:27 a.m. on May 6, 2012. 

 
5.     The responding mall security officer by his own testimony disturbs the crime scene.  He touches both car doors, keys to the ignition, the trunk of the car, admits to searching the car and takes photos of the victim.  He spends a questionable amount of time at the scene before placing a 911 call.

 6.     AACPD Officers responding to the 911 call Googled the method of death which came back a method of suicide.  The mother later googled the method of death, it came back a method of murder.  (See Kanae Kijimi – Serial Killer, whose story hit the Internet around April 12, 2012).

 7.     AACPD process scene, medical examiner makes statement about apparent suicide before processing body and leaves a 24 hour window as time of death.  Parents are notified but told they do not have to come view their daughters body, AACPD arranges to send the body directly to the funeral home.  Parents are not told about burns on victim’s body – funeral home Director informs parents at door to viewing. 

 8.     Suicide ruling issued in about 72 hours.

Rev.Tillet Ltr, May 5, 2015 Page 2 of 3

The Investigation:

9.     On May 6, 2012  Chief Gary Lyle, a retired Anne Arundel County police officer and now the Chief  of Public Safety Officer of Anne Arundel Community College who had oversight over the camera footage states “It does not appear that anyone ever exited or entered the decease's vehicle” and stating during deposition that he watched the entire video.

 
10.  After facing a year of resistance the family members are finally able to see the video footage.  They discover the original surveillance footage is destroyed and/or altered. What they receive are bits and pieces of the May 5, 2012 recordings only.  Officer Gary Lyle a retired 26 year veteran of the AACPD with a background in special investigations had failed to preserve and or make a master copy of any May 6 footage.

 
11.  In 2013 the family reached out to Michael Maresca Dir. of Valor Security at the Arundel Mills Mall.  He tells parents of the victim that he will not make any statements to them that contradict what they have been told by the AACPD. His agency refused to comply with a court issued subpoena for documents and appearing for deposition.  Another Valor Security guard also defied a subpoena to appear for deposition.  Mr. Maresca requested that the family never contact him again.

 
12.  To date according to AACPD no so called “viable prints” have been found inside or outside the victim’s car.  There has been no mention of the victim’s own prints being found.   

 
13.  In May 2012, the victim’s cell phone and IPOD were released to the family, homicide requested they be returned 48 hours later corrupting the chain of custody.

 
14.  The available footage on May 5 shows an unidentified white SUV pulling away from the victim’s car at the exact time that the victim’s brake lights are on for about 10 minutes. 

 
15.  On the morning of May 6, 2012 a witness contacted the AACPD.  She’s never contacted back.  Upon being deposed she testified that there was another vehicle (an SUV) in the parking lot on the night the victim dies, allegedly with a woman sitting in it from approx. 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

 
In 2013 and 2015 – outside investigative agencies offer assistance

16.  Leslie Kim of Fight Fraud America (FFA) writes “While her car had NOT MOVED, her phone took quite a journey. The report that was generated is black and white. The autopsy allowed a 24 hours window for time-of-death. The cell phone movements were tracked for that time period and intense attention was focused on the approximately 8-9 hours prior to discovery of her body ..”

 
17.  Eliya Azoulay, Director/Case Management (Reg#R-071922) of Expert Data Forensics writes ..the parking lot video footage was not available in its entirety .., leaving me to question Kathy’s physical or her body’s whereabouts during the time in question. If the geo location data is accurate,..we missing the proof of where Kathy’s physical body was, topped with the fact that time-of exact death is a 24 hour window we were unable to map an exact timeline of her physical being during her final 12 hours.

18.   (FFA) writes ..we filmed a controlled burn… and found that it produced actual flame for 16 minutes. At the 2 minute mark..flames were 8-10 inches in height. .. If lit in the car, there is absolute certainty it would have produced significant interior damage…Additionally.., the last surveillance frames indicated a white SUV, coincidentally similar, if not identical, to the description of the vehicle driven by a noted person-of-interest and that same person of interest having a degree in forensics.  Please look at 9:51 in the timeline.  There is then more than 7 hours of missing video surveillance, explained by "lack of motion detected" even though the scene was a parking lot for a twenty-four screen movie theater that operated until 2:00 a.m.

 
19.  According to an orthopedic/medical expert the post mortem positioning of the body was not consistent with the reported matter of death. The medical examiners finding of the victim allegedly having an empty bladder after 11 hours in a parked vehicle is of concern as well.  

Rev.Tillet Ltr, May 5, 2015 Page 3 of 3

 
Most recently

20.  Expert Data Forensics a Las Vegas based firm extracted GPS files (and others) from the victim’s cell phone, iPod and laptop. 
 

21.  In 2013 responding to a Freedom of Information Request the AACPD provided the family with a CD of the same GPS extractions from the victim’s cell and IPOD.

 
22.  A brief comparison of the data extracted by the AACPD to the Expert Forensics recovered GPS data files shows a missing block of time in the AACPD file provided to the family.  The time missing is a block at 3:52 a.m. that would have shown the victim’s cell phone moving through Elkridge/Howard County and not at the Arundel Mills Mall.  Yet less than 2 hours later the phone is found in the car with the victim when she is pronounced dead at 5:27 a.m. 

 
     In closing, Eliya Azoulay of Expert Data Forensics – states that “the reviewed data that was extracted forensically by Leon Mare. The extraction process was forensically… sound however, the devices that the data was extracted from ie; iPod, Toshiba Laptop and iPhone were spoilt evidence. These evidentiary devices were not preserved, ... I questioned the GPS / geolocation data specifically on Kathy’s cell phone. The data from the Cellebrite extraction report suggests that the phone moved around and was possibly not in the vehicle at various points as originally assumed, for example, according to Mrs. Morris, at 9:45pm on evening of 05/05/2012 the video surveillance footage shows Kathy’s car in the parking lot with the brake lights on, the Cellebrite report geo located the phone to a different geographical location connecting via cell tower…”

  In addition, in 2013, at a Press Conference, the AACPD announced they were appointing a volunteer homicide panel to reinvestigation the suicide finding. To date, even after a Freedom of Information request, no proof or documentation has been produced that the panel actually reviewed any evidence. There are no meeting times or minutes etc. The family believes that in reality, there was very little evidence preserved or still available for them to review. Multiple documented requests have been ignored.

 
   The AACPD also reference another reinvestigation occurring in 2012, the family cites several conflicts of interest that would nullify any actual results of that so called reinvestigation.

     Something happened to my child and we believe we all deserve to know what happened.  We respectfully request your organizations assistance along with any other resources you have at your disposal to help us in obtaining justice and truth in the death of Katherine Sarah Morris.  Thank you.

 
Sincerely,



Marguerite R Morris

and the family of Katherine Sarah Morris






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