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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Looking for Morgan: Do court records tell a chilling tale about felon with access to missing girl?

By Shirley Boulder

According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, 99.8% of the children kidnapped each year, come home.

Only about one-hundred children (a fraction of 1%) are kidnapped in the stereotypical stranger abductions you hear about in the news.

These children are usually abducted during the commission of a crime such as a robbery or sexual assault and the kidnapper is often someone the child knows.

It appears that Morgan Nick is one of those sad statistics -- one of 100 or so children that has been kidnapped in a stereotypical stranger abduction.

But after researching her case extensively, I have to take pause and ask some hard questions: Is it possible that Morgan Nick knew her abductor?

The name of Clifford Joe Pullan came up as I researched Morgan Nick’s father, Morris John Nick. Pullan, who was a two-time Purple heart winner and served in both Korea and Vietnam, was linked to John Nick according to information I found in an interesting Arkansas Court of Appeals document.

You can access the information HERE.

At first, I didn’t find anything of consequence -- just details about Clifford Joe Pullan’s penchant for selling marijuana.

However, by the second paragraph, I was floored:

“On January 28, 2006, Pullan was arrested for delivery of marijuana. The arrest was the culmination of an operation conducted by the Twenty-first Judicial District Drug Task Force undertaken to determine

whether Pullan was the supplier for a lower-level DRUG DEALER, JOHN NICK.”

You read that right. Morgan Nick’s father, Morris John Nick, was suspected of being a drug dealer.

The document goes on to explain: “Prior to the start of the operation, a confidential informant (CI) who had made three marijuana purchases from Nick told the drug task force that Nick claimed that Pullan was his supplier.

In December 2005, the task force had arrested Pullan for drug trafficking the previous summer….On the day in question, the drug task force set up surveillance on Pullan's residence.   Drug task force investigators sent the CI to Nick's residence to purchase marijuana with marked currency.  

The CI had been given approximately $2,000 so that he could buy all of Nick's existing stock of marijuana. Nick sold him eight ounces of marijuana for $640.”

As it turns out Morris John Nick, has a long criminal history:

July 1987: Battery - 3rd Degree

July 1987: Legacy System Criminal Violation

July 1987: Criminal Mischief - 2nd Degree

January 2006: Possession Controlled Counterfeit Substance - 3rd Offense. Class C Felony

January 2006: Possession Controlled Counterfeit Substance - 3rd Offense. Class C Felony

January 2006: Drugs and Firearms, Simultaneous Possession

January 2006: Possess, Use, Deliver, Advertise Drug Paraphernalia

January 2006: Endangering the Welfare of a Minor - 2nd Degree

The charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the 2nd Degree was not prosecuted in the 1996 proceedings, possibly as part of a plea deal.

John Nick’s drug charges happened 11 years AFTER Morgan’s abduction, so what makes this information relevant?

According to sources, John Nick had a long history with drugs dating back to the early 1990’s -- prior to his divorce from Colleen Nick and prior to the abduction of Morgan Nick.

Even more disturbing is this fact from the 2006 Arkansas Court of Appeals document: “Pullan drove directly to Nick's residence, and he entered without knocking. Pullan only stayed inside a few minutes

before leaving without the package.”

In 2006, was it common place for people (such as Clifford Pullan), with the intent of buying or selling drugs, to enter the home of John Nick without even knocking?

Did John Nick keep this same kind of “open door” policy when he lived with his children?

If Morris John Nick had a long standing business “relationship” with Clifford Joe Pullan going back to the 90’s, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that Pullan not only frequented the Nick home, but that he most likely was very familiar with John Nick’s family… and his children.

Why do I think this could be important?

Click to enlarge

In July of 1995, Clifford Joe Pullan was found guilty of a heinous crime: Violation of a Minor in the 1st Degree.

Let this sink in: A drug dealer that possibly had full access to John Nick’s home and his children was found guilty of a sex crime against a child.

Pullan was charged with this crime one month after Morgan Nick disappeared.

Let’s put this in perspective -- according to research, an average child predator will offend 200-400 times before being caught, if they are ever caught.

Pullan was caught one month after Morgan’s abduction. How many times did he offend prior to being caught? And who were the possible victims?

My blood ran cold when I came across this post about Clifford “Joe” Pullan. On September 9, 2013, a man named “Rick” posted this:

“He (Pullan) was convicted of sexual indecency with a minor and given a suspended sentence. He had a long history of trading drugs for sex with underage girls. He was then convicted of selling pot. He was out of jail awaiting sentencing when he was arrested again with heavy drugs including heroin.”

Could it be possible that Morgan Nick and her siblings were exposed to a dangerous world of drugs and predators? Is it possible that a predator set his eyes on Morgan Nick while purchasing or supplying

drugs to her father?

I believe this is a plausible scenario based on the information that is found in public criminal court records.

Clifford Joe Pullan is a testament to a life gone bad and should be a cautionary tale to those involved in drugs.

Not only had he been a war hero who volunteered to go to Vietnam after a tour in Korea, but he went on to work for and retired from the United States Postal Service after his military career.

Starting in 1995 with his conviction for sexual indecency with a minor that triggered parole revocations for previous crimes and for which he served no time save six months on a related Harrassment charge, Pullan was convicted of eight felonies and two crimal misdemeanors in the next thirteen years.

He also was found guilty of his last drug-related crimes at the age of 80 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He died at the age of 88 in a Little Rock hospital.

So clearly, he was no saint, despite his honorable service to the country, and was not the kind of person I would want around my children.

I am not placing blame on John Nick or on Morgan’s family for her abduction. I am simply pointing out a narrative that seems to have been avoided – at least on a public platform.

Shouldn’t we be asking the hard questions?

After all, a 6-year-old girl was snatched away on a summer night and she’s never been seen again.

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