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Missing girl found dead; father’s ex-girlfriend is suspect

Brenda Morris (center) and Claudette Flanagan-Jones, the grandmothers of Jade Morris, consoled each other Friday.

LEILA NAVIDI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brenda Morris (center) and Claudette Flanagan-Jones, the grandmothers of Jade Morris, consoled each other Friday.

LAS VEGAS — A body found in an undeveloped North Las Vegas housing tract was that of a missing 10-year-old girl who was last seen with a suspect in a casino slashing case, authorities said Friday.

Clark County coroner’s officials identified the body found a day earlier as that of Jade Morris. Officials say she died of multiple stab wounds.

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The girl was last seen Dec. 21 with Brenda Stokes Wilson, who had picked her up to go Christmas shopping. Family members say the girl had a close relationship with Stokes, who used to date her father.

Wilson was arrested later that night after she allegedly slashed a co-worker at the Bellagio casino with razor blades. Blood was found in a car borrowed by Stokes, a prosecutor said Friday. Wilson was identified in court as the prime suspect in the slaying but has not been formally charged.

“It’s no secret the defendant is the suspect in the murder of 10-year-old Jade Morris,’’ Daskas said as he persuaded Judge Joseph Bonaventure to increase Wilson’s bail from $60,000 to $600,000 pending the filing of kidnapping and murder charges in Clark County District Court.

Wilson has been jailed on charges of battery with a weapon, burglary, and mayhem in the slashing case. Murder charges would carry a sentence of life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Wilson stood in court 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.

Liker declined comment outside court.

Police went public with the search for Jade Morris on Christmas Day. Wilson used to date the girl’s father, Philip Morris, and had a long and trusted relationship with Jade Morris, according to the girl’s grandfather, Philip Tucker.

Philip Morris, who lives in Billings, Mont., was removed from court Wednesday by court officers after shouting questions about his daughter’s whereabouts to Wilson. He did not attend Friday’s hearing.

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