Relatives of presumed slaying victim Justin Morris on Friday pleaded with the young man’s accused killer to tell authorities where Morris’ body is.
Morris’ grandfather, Ed Morris, and uncle, Tom Allen, said their family desperately wants to know where Michael Jason Scharpf Breer allegedly hid their loved one’s corpse.
“We just want him home,” Allen said outside Pierce County Superior Court, just minutes after Breer pleaded not guilty to what prosecutors believe was a case of premeditated murder. “We’re looking for closure.”
Prosecutors charged Breer, 18, with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree possession of child pornography. The child pornography count stems from sexually explicit images of children investigators allegedly found on his phone.
They say they have enough evidence to move forward even though investigators have not found Morris’ body.
“We have everything we need to prove murder,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “The investigation continues, but our prosecution will move forward with or without the body.”
Not-guilty pleas were entered on Breer’s behalf. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley maintained the $2 million bail she imposed Wednesday during Breer’s first appearance after his arrest.
Morris’ family, including his father, Shannon Morris, watched Friday’s proceedings intently. Shannon Morris later broke down crying in the hallway outside court.
Prosecutors say Breer killed Morris, also 18, on July 10, attacking the victim from behind as he sat on a couch inside a home Breer shares with his mother in the South Hill area. Evidence suggests Breer hit Morris in the head with two cast iron frying pans and a golf club, court records show. Breer’s mother was not home at the time.
He later called a friend and asked for help in disposing of a body, the records show. The friend refused and three days later notified authorities.
Breer allegedly also called his uncle for advice about what to do with Morris’ body.
The uncle declined to help dispose of the corpse but told Breer he should burn and then bury it, records show. The uncle also lent Breer a carpet cleaner the defendant used to clean up the bloody mess left by the attack on Morris, records state.
Deputy prosecutor Stephen Penner said investigators are still trying to determine a motive.