MARISSA, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Two suspects are charged in the death of Brandy Morrison, 23, whose body was found in a landfill in Marissa, Illinois Tuesday.
Paulren Stepter, 51, and Courtney Williams, 40, are charged with tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse. Williams is also charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Authorities responded to the landfill in Marissa around mid-day Tuesday and discovered the remains a black female. Tuesday morning, the medical examiner's office said the woman had been shot in the head before her body was discarded.
Wednesday, police said the body was positively identified as Morrison.
Family members had not seen or heard from her for four days and became concerned after their search for her revealed frightening information.
"She usually calls us. She doesn't have a phone but she makes a way to call us,” said a family member who spoke on condition of anonymity. “She usually calls us but her last time to call was Wednesday night, Thursday morning."
Monday, family members were looking for Morrison in a north St. Louis neighborhood where she often visited a friend. They became worried when they discovered there'd been a fire in a house in the 6200 block of Laura where she sometimes stayed. Police believe that's where Morrison was shot.
Then, a short time later, family members found blood on a dumpster in an alley just a block away.
At 3 p.m. Monday, Marissa police were contacted by the St. Louis Police Department about a missing woman whose body may have been placed in a dumpster.
They tracked the dumpster’s route to Cottonwood Hills in Marissa and Waste Management and found the section where the dumpster may have been unloaded. St. Louis detectives arrived at the landfill and located Morrison's body.
Stepter is being held without bond while Williams is being held on a $200,000 cash-only.
Stepter previously served time in prison for another murder that occurred in 1986, however the conviction was overturned a few years later on a technicality. Stepter was granted another trial and found not guilty.
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