Man is sought for info in Modesto slaying

July 3, 2010 

Murder Suspect 1

(Stan Co. Sheriff's Dept) - Homicide detectives from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department have released a photo of a subject who is currently wanted for questioning in connection to the murder of Brian Morris. Morris, 30, of Modesto was found deceased on the shoulder of Carver Rd and Costner Rd in rural north Modesto at approximately 6:00 AM, June 11, 2010.

Stanislaus County sheriff's detectives are looking for help in identifying an unknown man in connection with the June 11 slaying of Modesto resident Brian Morris.

The Sheriff's Department has released a photo of the man sought for questioning about the killing of 30-year-old Morris. The victim was found dead on the shoulder of Carver and Costner roads in rural north Modesto last month.

The man is shown on surveillance video recorded near the time of Morris' death at Stop 'N Save Groceries & Liquor at Carver Road and Standiford Avenue. He is described by the Sheriff's Department as an adult black male in his mid-to-late 30s weighing about 250 pounds.

He last was seen driving a white mid-'90s Ford Taurus, or similar vehicle, away from the Stop 'N Save gas station.

Several witnesses have been interviewed in the case.

"I know that once (officials) get ahold of that guy, that will answer a lot of the questions they have," said deputy Andrew Winter, a Sheriff's Department spokesman. "The key is identifying the gentleman in the picture and getting him in custody so they can question him."

Morris was discovered near a vacant lot by a woman driving on Costner Road just south of Ladd Road about 6 a.m. June 11. An autopsy confirmed that he died of a gunshot wound. Previous reports said Morris had wounds to the back of the head.

Winter said there is no known motive for the slaying, though robbery has been ruled out.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Frank Soria at 525-7080. Callers can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips at www.stancrimetips.org, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message, and will be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at mrowland@modbee.com or 578-2284.

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