The Investigation Also refer back to "That Night" for additional investigation details!
On May 6, 2012 Katherine Sarah Morris died from carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grills lit in her car.
May 27, 2014
Chief Kevin Davis
Office of the Chief of Police
Anne Arundel County Police Dept.
Dear Chief Davis:
is sent as a follow-up to our meeting on May 22, 2014. The family of Katherine Sarah Morris and I appreciate your taking
the time to personally visit with us at our home in St. Mary's County. We understand that the
purpose of this meeting was to update us on the results from the panel of homicide specialist assimilated in
November of 2013. During
your visit you informed us that in yours
and the panel’s opinion, Katherine Morris’ death was
still the result of a suicide. You also named several reasons for this
conclusion which I will summarize per
1. Credit card use
2. The surveillance camera was motion sensitive
and that was the reason for the inconsistency in the recording.
3. Charcoal grill purchase. You informed us that
Walmart does not keep video surveillance
footage for more than 30 days and therefore it was no longer possible to
determine whether or not the
deceased had personally purchased the grills.
4. The finger printing that was not done
family is grateful for your verbal apology for how things were handled in the investigation into Katherine’s death. We are
grateful for your statement that better measures have been put in place to prevent the set of circumstances
surrounding the investigation into
Katherine’s death from re-occurring.I believe that you mentioned
that as a result of how her investigation was handled and as a future preventative measure, the police
department will now have a homicide specialist immediately assigned to a case. We respectfully requested for
this to be put in writing for the family and your response was that you would have to check with the
counties legal department before doing so. The family awaits your feedback.
interim, our response to your points raised as the reasons for the confirmation
of a suicide finding are the following:
1. The deceased credit card use does not reflect
the purchase of any grills. We had already
requested, received and reviewed the receipts for her purchases at several
stores prior to her death.
2. The family still contends that the surveillance
camera video was somehow, (even though
erroneously), was destroyed and/or altered. Anne Arundel County Community
College Safety Officers gave sworn
statements that what was on the tapes was what was requested by the Anne Arundel County Police. Yes, it was
motion sensitive. Therefore it appears that perhaps there should have been additional footage since this was a busy
parking lot, full of movie goers on a
Saturday night. In addition, a witness contacted the Anne Arundel County police department about being present in the
parking lot on the morning of May 6,2012. She has testified under oath that
there was another vehicle (an SUV) in the parking lot with a woman sitting in it for hours that same
morning (approx. 2 - 4 a.m.).
In reference to the charcoal grill.
Walmart can track purchases, this was a seasonal item and I contacted your office via email in
October of 2013 requesting information from the grill packaging etc. This information has yet to be given to
me. We have also reviewed the receipts
from Katherine’s Walmart purchases and they do not have grills listed. In
addition, the security officer
responding to the scene has given sworn testimony reflecting discrepancies in
where the grills were located.
reference to fingerprints, a police report addendum reflects that the exterior
of the car was not fingerprinted and
the interior yielded negative results. Michele Harper, Katherine’s roommate states that she was in the
vehicle on the day Katherine died. Text messages reflect that she had also talked to Katherine about going
to the movies that day. The responding security officer by his own testimony was all over the exterior of the vehicle
i.e. both car doors, keys to the ignition
and the trunk of the car. He also took photos of the death scene. It would
appear that he may have spent a
questionable amount of time at the scene before placing a 911 call. The security company also continues to defy a
court issued subpoena for information regarding the details of that night.
An additional question has
now been raised in reference to the matter with the burned carpet in the car. The car should have been full
of smoke from the smoldering carpet hampering visibility into the vehicle. The responding security officer makes
little, if any mention of this.
6. In addition to all of the above, matters were
further complicated by the fact that the deceased
vehicle and her hand held electronics were returned to the family approx. 48
hours after her death. Then
homicide detectives on or about May 11, 2012 requested the electronics be
returned to them. In a
subsequent meeting the detective verbally acknowledged that he was not familiar
with how to handle the electronic
data contained on them.
Unfortunately, by all appearances it would seem that
the 2013 homicide panel would not have much if anything to look at or review in reference to the death of our loved
one. This is apparent because of the
lack of evidence preserved and the time elapsed since her death. Finally there
continues to be so many unanswered
questions surrounding the death of our loved one after two years and three
police chiefs following her
death. The only sure fact is that she
died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The entire scene could have been staged and
I presented to the 2013 panel the report of the woman that murdered three people using the same
method by which Katherine died (right down to the sleeping pills) and it was not until the 3rd murder that police realized
the two prior individuals had
not committed suicide.
Finally,no alibis were taken and one of the
police’s witness’, upon which they relied
on in their suicide finding;
1) appears to have been deceptive;
2) was one of the last persons that the deceased possibly communicated with electronically prior to leaving her
apartment the evening of her death;
3) did not want her statement recorded,
4) has a degree in forensics and
5) possibly drives/drove
a white SUV.
that an open acknowledgement that mistakes were made and a written apology are all the family can hope for at this
point. Thank you and your feedback is appreciated.
Cc: Gerald Stansbury,
President Maryland NAACP
Patricia M. Thornton, Bacon, Thornton &