What to Know
Remains preliminarily identified as Christina Morris, a 23-year-old woman presumed dead since she disappeared Aug. 30, 2014.
The Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office will confirm the person’s identity and cause of death.
Field had been searched previously in Morris investigation; nearby cell tower pinged convicted kidnapper’s phone after her disappearance.
Officals are expected to hold a news conference at about 4:30 Thursday. Live video from that news conference will appear in the player above.
Skeletal remains unearthed Wednesday in a field in Anna have been preliminarily identified as Christina Morris, a 23-year-old woman who has been presumed dead after being reported missing in August 2014.
Morris’ mother, Jonni McElroy, placed flowers at the site Thursday morning where the remains were found.
While the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office has not officially confirmed the identity of the remains, evidence found at the scene is believed to have assisted in the identification process.
Morris was last being seen leaving The Shops at Legacy with friend Enrique Arochi on Aug. 30, 2014. Following Morris’s disappearance, Arochi maintained that after he walked into the parking garage with Morris that the two separated and he never saw her again. Investigators later found Morris’s DNA in Arochi’s trunk; he was eventually sentenced to life in prison for her kidnapping.
Should the remains be confirmed by the medical examiner to be Morris, and should her cause of death be ruled homicide, officials have not yet said what that may mean for Arochi.
Investigators returned to the field Thursday morning to continue their investigation after multiple police departments guarded the area overnight.
Officials said Wednesday the partial skeleton was found by a crew clearing brush and doing excavation work in a field along the 1800 block of Taylor Boulevard, about a mile east of U.S. Highway 75.
The field is less than a mile from a cell tower that pinged Arochi’s phone the day after Morris disappeared, The Dallas Morning News reported; officials confirmed the area was searched at least once before during the investigation into Morris’ disappearance.
In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Lt. Nick Bristow, with the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, was unable to confirm any further information about the remains, including the age or gender of the person or what personal property may have been found at the site. The remains were to be removed and transferred to the Collin County Medical Examiner for identification.
Bristow said the sheriff’s department notified the Plano police of the remains due to the Morris missing persons investigation. Plano police added that anytime human remains are found in the area they visit the site and notify the Morris family so that they are aware of the potential for a break in the case.
Vigil Planned for Thursday Night
Neighbors in the Anna neighborhood near where the remains were found are planning a prayer vigil for Thursday night.
“I hope to see the street filled, obviously, and just neighbors coming together and expressing love and concern and compassion for a person we don’t know. But we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ, and I just need to feel that with my neighbors,” said Lekeita McMillan.
The vigil will begin at about 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Mesquite and Sweet Gum, north of Taylor Boulevard in Anna.
NBC 5’s Diana Zoga and Allie Spillyards contributed to this report. Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.