Police say the man arrested in the kidnapping of a woman that led to her death had been let out of jail on bail just a day before the horrific incident.
Employees of a car wash across from the CubeSmart Self Storage in Murray, Utah, called emergency services on Saturday in the afternoon after noticing smoke billowing out of the storage facility.
When firefighters responded, they found six storage units on fire and later made the gruesome discovery of the bodies of the woman and the dog.
Car wash employees helped again, this time by finding a snippet from video surveillance that showed a man going to the storage facility about the time of the fire.
Police were able to identify the suspect as 30-year-old Alexander Paul Wardell and when they questioned him, investigators said he admitted to locking his girlfriend in the storage unit just before the fire.
“Male stated that the female was in the unit when he closed the door to the unit, putting a lock into door, and left the area on foot. 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,” the police report read.
Wardell was arrested on Saturday evening and charged with negligent homicide and kidnapping.
The man has a previous criminal history and had been let out of jail on a bond just one day before the alleged kidnapping of his girlfriend. He also had been previously convicted of domestic violence charges in 2019.
The woman was identified by Murray City Police as 27-year-old Morgan Kay Harris according to a report from KTVX-TV. The fire department said it was unclear what led to the fire and could not say if Wardell started the fire as well.
Harris’ family said she was a model and a makeup artist who loved her dog named Huck. They have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with burial costs.
Here’s a local news report about the horrific incident:
Police: Man locked girlfriend, dog in Murray storage unit that caught fire and killed themwww.youtube.com
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