Could obscure 1995 article in North Carolina newspaper hold key clues to Morgan's abduction?
Former Alma Chief of Police, Russell White was quoted as saying this in regard to the Morgan Nick abduction:
“We have some facts about what happened that day; we don’t know who took her. Over the years, we’ve had speculation about whether it was a local person or someone just traveling through. The thing about this case is, if it was a local person, they’ve probably moved on or died, or been incarcerated for something else -- something that has kept them from doing it again.
"People who do this kind of offense don’t tend to stop on their own. They probably would have done it again, but they have not offended here again. But there are just too many variables to pinpoint whether it was a local person or not.”
What could those variables be?
No one is even certain that it was a man that abducted Morgan Nick. The truth is nobody knows. And with all of the misinformation circulating around the Morgan Nick case, I am not sure we ever will know.
After the last segment of this series was released, new information was brought to my attention.
As it turns out, shortly after Morgan’s abduction, there were two anonymous phone calls -- one call was to Colleen Nick and the other call was to a Fort Smith 9-1-1 Call center.
The anonymous caller was female and she had important information to give Colleen and authorities: she claimed to know who kidnapped Morgan Nick.
Once I received this information, I immediately started researching the two phone calls. As it turns out, this story is true. I was unable to track down any “official” information regarding what was discussed during those two phone calls
I did, however, stumble across an interesting message that was posted on the now defunct Topix forum in August of 2016:
Anonymous: “I know who made them (the phone calls). Look, Colleen knows too. My friend and I we went to the police with a picture of the new suspect. We showed it to (name redacted) and he went white and then flipped his computer screen around to reveal the same man.”
Shortly after finding this information on Topix, I was able to verify with a credible source that this did indeed take place. Does this mean that the identity of the man in the second composite sketch is known to authorities?
If his identity is known, why is this composite sketch continuing to be circulated? I don’t know about you, but I want answers.
But wait. It gets much, much worse.
Not long after receiving this startling information, I was contacted by a source that asked me if I had ever met with a reporter named Janet S. Spencer in the Cherokee County Bureau in Gaffney, South Carolina.
The source encouraged me to find Janet Spencer and talk to her about a story she wrote in August of 1995. I wasn’t able to track down Spencer herself, but I did find the article she had written that held a treasure trove of information:
"Local police said Friday that a kidnapping suspect may have shaved his beard, dyed his hair and passed through Gaffney Wednesday with a 6-year- old girl who was snatched from a ballpark in Alma, Ark., in June. Cherokee County Sheriff Bill Blanton said his office is handling reports of two different sightings as authentic.
He based that conclusion on statements from several people who reported seeing a man and girl, fitting the description of the Arkansas pair, on a flyer in local stores. They said the two acted strangely. The first sighting was at the Belk at Peachtree Marketplace around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Two women leaving the store were behind the suspect.
The women told county detective Ken Broome that the pair got into a burgundy older model Hyundai car. They remembered the license plate appeared to be out of state and contained the letters, “MVZ.”
Broome said the two women went to the Wal-Mart at the end of the mall where they knew a flyer was posted and checked the photos. One woman called Arkansas, and the other called the local 911 dispatch, Broome said.
The second sighting was about three hours later at the World of Clothing on Webber Road at the Road 39 exit off I-85.
Two store employees called police Thursday after they saw a picture of Morgan in the newspaper.
“I wished we had known Wednesday that something might be wrong, so we would have called the police,” Maggie Sarratt said Friday from her job at the outlet store.
Based on those sightings, a new composite drawing of the suspected abductor was made late Friday afternoon by an artist from the State Law Enforcement Division. The drawing shows that if the man seen locally is the suspect, he has changed his hair and beard, since original bulletins were released by Arkansas police.
Morgan has been the subject of a search involving Arkansas officials, the FBI and the television show “America’s Most Wanted.” She was with her mother at a ballpark in Arkansas June 9. Her mother told an Arkansas newspaper that Morgan stopped to tie her shoe, and the girl she was with continued walking.
It was about 10:45 p.m. When they looked back for Morgan, she was gone.
The man and girl seen at Gaffney’s Belk did not buy anything. But at the World of Clothing, Broome said the man bought several dresses for the little girl and a shirt for himself. He paid for them with $120 in cash.
The store’s receipt showed the two checked out at 2:23 p.m. Sarratt said she talked to the man while the girl tried on dresses over her clothes, but the little girl hardly spoke and never smiled. The man stayed close by and asked Sarratt whether one dress was long enough.
“He told me he was her uncle, that he worked in construction with Daniels in Georgia, and when he comes home to visit his father, he takes his sister’s children shopping,” Sarratt said. Sarratt said the man even told her that his sister has two other children, one older and one younger than the girl with him. “He said he had been sick and in the hospital, because he had been working too hard, and told me his daddy lives below Macedonia Church. But he didn’t tell me his name or his daddy’s. I asked him, but he didn’t answer,” Sarratt said
The only time the child spoke was to tell the man she did not want to try on any more clothes, Sarratt said.
“He said we’ll take all of these and scooped them up. She did not show any emotion. I expected a little girl to dance a jig, laugh and clap her hands because of her new things.” Sarratt said she gets emotional trying to talk about seeing the little girl. “My heart went out to her. She really did touch me. It was a shock to see her picture, after I had seen her the day before. I thought, if only we had seen the picture yesterday,” Sarratt said.
Chief Deputy Joel Hill with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said because the people who say the man and child are so convinced they saw the Arkansas pair, the investigation is continuing locally.
“They may have gotten on I-85 and are long gone from here now,” Hill said. “But we’ve got to get the word out. Maybe somebody will see this car and these two people soon.”
I had to read this information at least a dozen times before I could believe it. In all of my years researching this case,
I have never heard this story. It leads to more questions: Why wasn’t the composite drawing of the suspected abductor that was made by the State Law Enforcement Division in South Carolina released to the public here in Arkansas? Why hasn’t the public been made aware of the older model burgundy Hyundai car with the letters “MVZ” on the license plate?
I think it’s time for the community to start demanding answers.
-to be continued-