The boyfriend has a long history of domestic violence convictions going back as far as 2013.
A 27-year-old woman from Utah along with her dog was found dead in a storage unit complex in Murray. The victim, identified by police as Morgan Kay Harris, and her dog Huck was allegedly locked inside by her boyfriend when a subsequent fire broke out. Employees at a car wash business CubeSmart Self Storage, at 4640 South 900 East saw smoke coming from one of the buildings in the complex and called emergency services immediately.
Police identify victim, Morgan Kay Harris from Murray, Utah— Kerri Rawson (@KerriRawson) February 21, 2023
“Harris died after being locked in a storage unit that caught on fire”
From a family statement:
“Our daughter, Morgan, was always known for her sweet, shy, and kind temperament, being a deep https://t.co/Fh41Hce0XB… https://t.co/WzTumHRRE0
“They just looked outside the window, and saw all the smoke coming up,” recalled Tristan Rogers, who works at the car wash, according to KSL TV. The car wash employees were also able to provide surveillance footage just before the fire broke out. “We were able to manage some footage of just a little sliver of him coming over the fence, just walking past,” Rogers explained of a man that appeared on the screen.
Officers then arrested 30-year-old Alexander Wardell who said the victim was his girlfriend. “The female was in the unit when he closed the door to the unit putting a lock into door,” an affidavit stated. “While the male left the area the unit caught on fire and due to the lock being in the door the female was unable to flee from the fire,” investigators mentioned.
Wardell faced charges of negligent homicide, kidnapping, and violating probation. He has a long history of domestic violence convictions, going back as far as 2013, reports ABC 4. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and it is not yet clear if Wardell was the one to have started it.
According to KATV, in a statement, her family described Harris as a sweet, shy person with a kind temperament. They called her "a deep thinker with amazing artistic abilities and always having an infectious giggle. She was a beautiful model and makeup artist and a successful medical assistant."
Utah Woman and Dog Die in Fire After Allegedly Being Locked in Storage Unit by Boyfriend https://t.co/xK9pzYQXcK— People (@people) February 24, 2023
The young woman was excited about starting a new job and adored her dog, the statement said. "Leaving behind her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews whom she adored. We are devastated at the loss of our daughter and appreciate the love and support from the community but ask for your privacy at this time as we maneuver through the unimaginable," the statement concluded.
The family has also started a GoFundMe to cover funeral expenses.
If you are being subjected to domestic abuse or know of anyone else who is, please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe