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Suspect Arrested In 1984 Murder Of Aspiring Model Strangled With Her Own Leg Warmers
Mary Jane Thompson was last seen taking a bus to a medical clinic two days before her body was discovered near railroad tracks that were no longer in service.
A suspect has been arrested for the 1984 murder of an aspiring model whose body was found behind a warehouse in Texas.
Edward Morgan, 60, is facing capital murder charges for the rape and murder of Mary Jane Thompson, 21, according to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. In collaboration with the Dallas Police Department and the FBI, the District Attorney’s Office announced the arrest was made exactly 38 years after Thompson was found dead behind an Irving Boulevard warehouse.
Thompson was last seen taking the bus to the Trinity Medical Clinic on Feb. 11, 1984, according to the Dallas Morning News. The clinic, then on Industrial Boulevard, was closed.
Two days later, her body was discovered near railroad tracks that were no longer in use. Someone had sexually assaulted the victim and strangled her with her own leg warmers.
“This case is yet another example of the incredible collaborative effort between the Dallas Police Department, the FBI, and the District Attorney’s SAKI (sexual assault kit initiative) Cold Case Team,” said Assistant District Attorney and SAKI Chief Leighton D’Antoni. “Working together, we continue to solve the most difficult cold cases that Dallas has ever seen.”
Thompson’s sister, Selena Tomasello, said her prayers were answered when the news of Morgan’s arrest came the same day she learned she was cancer-free.
“My nephew, Ray, said that my sister was thanking me for never giving up on finding [Morgan] and for not giving up the fight against cancer,” Tomasello posted on Facebook. “The best thank you gift I ever got. God is good.”
Thompson worked two jobs at a local florist’s shop and restaurant, according to the Dallas Morning News. She was also an aspiring model who previously lived in Houston and Los Angeles before relocating to Dallas about six months before her murder.
The case grew cold, and her killer remained at large for nearly four decades. Authorities with the Dallas Police Department reopened the case in 2009 and created a DNA profile of an unknown male suspect from evidence collected from Thompson’s autopsy. But the sample yielded no matches, and once again, the case went cold.
Dallas Police Cold Case Homicide Detective Noe Camacho reopened the case in 2018, utilizing the help offered by the Dallas County DA Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The FBI came onto the case in 2020.
Investigators submitted the unknown suspect’s DNA using forensic genetic genealogy analysis and were able to match the DNA to Edward Morgan.
“I look forward to working with all our local law enforcement agencies to utilize the advancements in forensic testing techniques to identify, arrest, and prosecute the most dangerous predators hiding among us,” D’Antoni continued. “We never, ever forget about these cases, our victims, and their families.”
Assistant District Attorney Leighton D’Antoni also thanked Detective Noe Camacho and the FBI Dallas Crime Task Force.
“They spent countless hours over multiple years working diligently on what, at times, seemed like an impossible case to solve,” said Leighton. “It takes a singular dedication and authentic commitment to justice to see it through. The people of Dallas are very lucky to have them helping to protect our community.”
Edward Morgan was booked into the Dallas County Jail and faces one count of capital murder.