2012-12-29 / State

Body of missing girl found in empty Las Vegas lot

By KEN RITTER
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The weeklong search for a Las Vegas girl ended Friday afternoon when officials confirmed that a small body found in an undeveloped housing tract belonged to the missing child.

The Clark County coroner’s office said a body discovered Thursday belongs to 10-year-old Jade Morris, who police had been searching for since Christmas Day. She died of multiple stab wounds, the coroner’s office said.

Jade was last seen Dec. 21 with family friend Brenda Stokes Wilson, who picked her up to go Christmas shopping.

Wilson, 50, returned the car she had borrowed for the outing to a friend two hours later. Jade never came back.

Investigators later found blood on the driver’s door and steering wheel of the 2007 Saab sedan.

Later that night, Wilson was wrestled to the ground with razors in each hand after allegedly slashing the face of a female co-worker at the Bellagio casino.

A judge raised her bail to from $60,000 to $600,000 on Friday morning after she was identified as the prime suspect in the child’s killing.

“As soon as we get all the evidence in that we need, we’ll book her on the murder charges,” Las Vegas police homicide Capt. Chris Jones said.

Wilson has been jailed since the 21st on felony battery with a weapon, burglary and mayhem charges that could get her decades in prison.

Police said she offered no help in the search for the missing girl. Murder and kidnapping charges could get her life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

On Thursday, Las Vegas police responding to a 911 call found a girl’s body in unkempt brush near palm trees in a small traffic circle about 10 miles from the downtown Las Vegas outlet mall where Stokes was to have taken the girl shopping.

On Friday evening, Jones called the slaying “unfathomable.”

“Even having our jobs, we still can’t wrap our heads around this,” he said. “A lot of people think that just because of our positions we can understand it, but we can’t.”

In court Friday morning, Wilson stood flanked by eight police officers as her lawyer, Tony Liker, clutching a Bible and a copy of the charging documents, asked the judge to postpone arraignment until Wednesday to give him time to meet with Wilson.

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