Two Women, Same Name Slain in Houston

ByABC News via logo
September 24, 2002, 6:55 PM

Sept. 25 -- Two women who lived in the same city and shared the same name never met, but they suffered the same violent end.

Both Houston women were slain and left dead in their cars, just three days apart in October 2000, in different parts of Harris County, Texas. Neither woman was robbed and police have still not cracked either case.

The victims' families fear that the fact that both women were named Mary Morris may have sealed their fates. Though police say they have no evidence to support the theory, the families are speculating that a sloppy hit man hired to kill one of them may have initially killed the wrong woman.

One of the Mary Morrises was a 39-year-old nurse with a joyous outlook, her family said.

"Mary lived life to the fullest," said her sister, Stephanie Anne Loar. "She was just very outgoing, very bubbly."

The other Mary Morris was a 48-year-old loan officer at a bank. She was active, devoted and kind, her family said.

"She was one of the nicest people you'd ever want to know," said her daughter, Marilyn Blaylock. "She acted like she was 20. She was always going somewhere, she was always doing something. She never missed a day of work."

No Robbery, No Apparent Motive

Mary Morris, the loan officer, left her house on the morning of Oct. 12, 2000, but never made it to her job at the bank. Jay Morris, her husband, became concerned because he wasn't able to reach her all day. He called police to report her missing that evening after learning that she never arrived at work.

That same evening, her body was found incinerated inside her car in a remote area. Someone driving an off-road vehicle noticed the burned-out car. Tooth fragments were used to identify the body.

"There's no question at all this was a murder," Harris County Detective Robert Tonry said.

There was no sign of robbery, and no motive, police said. The death remains unexplained to this day.

Morris' daughter said she did not know of anyone who would have a motive to kill her mother.