Hunt for accused family slayer intensifies
- Jennifer Anderson
- Portland Tribune - News
Father of suspect asks him to surrender
With the last confirmed sighting of suspected killer Edward Morris occurring nearly two weeks ago, authorities Thursday announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and stood by as his father asked him to surrender.
'We believe it's going to be somebody out there who's viewing one of these shows, these press conferences, that spots Edward Morris,' Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson said Thursday morning.
Morris, 37, of North Portland, has been charged with murdering his pregnant wife, Renee, 31, and their three children: Bryant, 10; Alexis, 8; and Jonathan, 4. Their bodies were discovered Dec. 21 in the snowy Tillamook State Forest.
Paul Morris, the fugitive's father, who lives in Gresham, asked his son to surrender. 'We love you,' he said. 'Call 911 or call one of us, and we'll help you through it. God has supported you and carried you through it for a long time and will continue to do so.'
Nearly 600 tips from around the country have poured in after the case was publicized on 'America's Most Wanted' TV program and in local media.
Yet investigators say they have little to go on besides two confirmed sightings of Morris or the family vehicle he's believed to be driving. Morris was seen at a gas station in Edmonds, Wash., and a motel clerk in The Dalles gave a description of him and his vehicle.
Authorities said Thursday it's possible that Morris has changed his appearance: growing facial hair or going cleanshaven, possibly shaving his head or going without glasses. They also said he may have gone to Canada or Alaska, but they don't want to rule anything out.
'We want to make sure we keep everyone alert around the world,' said Charles Mathews, special agent in charge of the Portland FBI. 'We don't want to focus on any one area.'
Anderson said Morris may have switched the license plates on his gray 1993 Dodge Caravan, which had carried Oregon plates WSH 171. The van's back window had religious stickers that say 'Luis Palau' and 'Promise Keepers.'
Mathews urged people to look for the Dodge Caravan at public places such as airports, public parking lots and campgrounds, since camping gear was spotted in the back of the van at the motel in The Dalles. The FBI considers Morris armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the FBI at 503-224-4181 or the Tillamook County tip line at 503-815-3340.