Innocence Lost: Looking for Morgan: Part Three of a limited series
As we continue to delve in to the 1995 disappearance of Morgan Nick, let’s look closer at the circumstances around Morgan’s abduction.
Remember, Morgan was abducted from Woofard Ballpark as she watched a Little League game in Alma. There were approximately 300 people in attendance and yet, only three people recall seeing the suspect.
The two teams playing that night were the Marlins -- the hometown team from Alma, and the visiting team -- The Pythons. Unfortunately, I have been unable to track down the name of the Python’s home town.
Regardless, I think it’s safe to assume that many people traveled to the game, just as Colleen and Morgan had done, to watch a family member or friend play ball that night. In fact, Little League season was typically in full swing between the months of March and May.
Tournament games were usually held in June or July, so I assume this was a tournament game -- which gives even more reason for people to travel from surrounding towns to watch the game.
It’s very unlikely, in my opinion, that anyone attended that game that night that didn’t already have knowledge about the scheduled game.
This also lends credence to the idea that Morgan’s abductor was a local. This was long before the days of social media, so the game would have been “advertised” so to speak through word of mouth of family and friends and in places such as school, church, on the telephone, or maybe through a small local news outlet.
Morgan’s friends described the man that approached them that June night as ‘creepy’, so that leads me to believe that they had never seen him before.
However, I have yet to find any adult eye witness accounts that describe this ‘creepy’ man that had spoken to Morgan and her friends. Perhaps others knew exactly who he was and they have dismissed the idea that he could have been involved in Morgan’s abduction.
In my opinion, most adults are going to remember a complete stranger that is canvassing a ballpark for children in a small, southern town.
Or maybe, just maybe, he was dismissed by Alma residents because they believed he was the parent or family member of a child on the opposing team?
For whatever reason, this man didn’t set off any “alarms” with the adults at the ballpark that night and this, to me, is an important factor in this case.
However, there are three witnesses who did see the suspect at the ballpark that evening. One was an adult, and the other two were Morgan’s friends, ages 10 and 8.
The two young children, of course, were able to get the best look at the suspect, but they have given conflicting accounts of the man they saw that night.
This is not surprising as these children were traumatized by Morgan’s abduction.
The adult woman who saw the suspect that evening has never referred to the man as ‘creepy’ or strange and she only saw him from a distance across a dark parking lot late at night.
This witness was even taken to Little Rock and hypnotized in hopes that she could provide more accurate information regarding the suspect’s appearance.
Unfortunately, she was unable to be as helpful as was needed to apprehend the suspect.
The police have no witnesses to the actual abduction and only three witnesses who saw the suspect. Sadly, these witnesses were unable to provide a high-quality and consistent description of this man.
Because of this, the police chose to base their original composite sketch on a witness description from the laundromat incident that I talked about in an earlier segment of this series.
Once the composite sketch, based on the laundromat incident, was complete, the drawing was shown to the three witnesses from the ballpark who were asked to rate the composite on a scale from 1 to 10 - with 10 being an exact likeness.
The three witnesses rated the sketch as an 8 and so the rabbit trail began…. the sketch was released to the public as Morgan Nick’s abductor.
Only it wasn’t a sketch of Morgan Nick’s abductor.
It was the sketch of a man from an unrelated incident.
It’s also important to understand that the game that Morgan attended on June 9 was the last game of the day in an all-day schedule of back-to-back games being played at the ballpark.
The game before had gotten behind schedule and the game that Morgan attended actually began much later than it was scheduled to start.
I think this information is very important, as we don’t hear this mentioned much in the media or by Morgan’s family.
What happened during that unaccounted for time? In my opinion, this time period is very critical to this crime. Is this when this man first saw Morgan?
Where were Morgan and her mother during the time period the game was supposed to start and when it actually began?
Furthermore, it’s also important to note that Morgan was abducted from a ballpark that was only ONE block away from the Alma Police Department.
One block away!
In all likelihood, her abductor drove right past the police station with Morgan in tow. This was someone who was very confident and comfortable with their ability to slip away into the night with a child.
We must ask ourselves, what kind of person would blend in that well at a Little League game and slip away almost undetected?
Could it be:
-A Parent/Friend/Relative of one of the children playing that day/night in the Little League tournament? If so, why wasn’t he wearing a shirt or shoes? Or;
-Someone who had been working at the ballpark that day that had changed clothes in order to “relax” and “cool down” as they watched the final game of the day?
I think these two options are the most likely. As I have said before, I believe this was a crime of opportunity. I can’t see any scenario where a predator showed up to an out-of-the-way Little League game one block away from the police station hoping to abduct a little girl.
Someone that plans to commit a crime is almost always well prepared. How was this man prepared? He wasn’t even wearing shoes or a shirt! The fact the suspect did not have those items tells me he was not prepared at all; instead, he seized the opportunity to fulfill a pedophilic fantasy
Fast forward to January 15, 2002 when police conducted a dig on a private piece of land in Booneville, Arkansas after receiving a tip that claimed Morgan Nick might have been buried there. The tip was so specific and compelling that the authorities enlisted the help of a police dog prior to the dig. Nothing was found during the search and the police have not revisited that site since that time.
Then, on November 15, 2010, federal investigators searched a vacant house in Spiro, Oklahoma for DNA evidence in the Morgan Nick case. A tip came in that convinced authorities that perhaps Morgan had once been in that house.
Then, on December 18, 2017, authorities returned to that same house to conduct yet another search. A cadaver dog alerted police to a well on the property and that well became the center of the investigation. However, the search was called off on December 19, 2017 after no evidence was recovered.
I share the information about both of these searches in hopes that someone might remember information about this suspect that connect him to Booneville or Spiro - or both.
Someone knows something.
Is it you?
Do you remember someone driving an older model red Ford truck with Arkansas plates that fits the physical description of Morgan Nick’s abductor? Do you remember a man that sometimes wore cut-off jeans as shorts and felt comfortable walking around barefoot and without a shirt?
Maybe it was a man who possibly had connections to the ballpark -- as either a parent or relative of a child playing that night, or maybe he worked as a Little League ump or at the concession stand at the ballpark?