Police suspect NC fire inspector was killed by woman found dead on same day
The woman, reportedly Chapel Hill Fire Inspector Larry “Donnie” Donnell Morrisey’s ex-fiancée, was found dead with her daughter at a separate scene
Ashad Hajela, Virginia Bridges, and Julian Shen-Berro
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A woman found with her daughter, both dead in their Wendell home Tuesday, is suspected of killing a 48-year-old Raleigh man found that morning, police say.
Larry “Donnie” Donnell Morrisey, who worked for the Chapel Hill Fire Department, was found dead in his home on Marsh Hollow Drive, according to a police incident report. He died sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, according to the report.
Officers responded to the home at 11:51 a.m. Tuesday after getting a 911 call. The investigation then took Raleigh and Wendell police to a home on North Cypress Street, the Wendell Police Department stated in a news release.
Police got a search warrant and found the bodies of Beronica Brooks, 48, and a 9-year-old girl inside the house, according to the release.
Police have not said how either of the adults or the child died or why they think Brooks killed Morrisey.
‘Something is not right,’ said man’s sister
Morrisey’s sister, Chanell Dora, said she is struggling with the loss of her brother.
“I am taking this very hard,” she said.
On Tuesday Morrisey’s cousin told a family member he had been trying to contact her brother since Saturday.
“I was like, something is not right,” said Dora, 50, of Fayetteville. “Something is not right.”
Family members went to his home but couldn’t get in, Dora said. She called the fire department, and officials said he had not signed in to work.
“When they said that, I kind of figured something had happened,” she said.
That’s when she told her mother to have her aunt call the police, Dora said.
Brooks, whom police are investigating as a suspect, had a 9-year-old daughter who was not related to Morrisey, Dora said.
Dora said Brooks was Morrisey’s ex-fiancee. The two dated about five years and broke up in the fall, his sister said.
Brooks wanted to resume the relationship, but that didn’t happen after Morrisey had concerns about her unexpectedly showing up when he would go different places, Dora said.
On Saturday morning, Dora said her brother told her Brooks had unexpectedly shown up at his friend’s house on Thursday or Friday night and he had cut all ties after the incident.
A person who called 911 said they hadn’t heard from Morrisey for four days, according to a copy of the call released Wednesday.
The caller said they left notes outside his door. The caller called his place of work and was told he had not been to work and that this was not like him. “No family can get in touch with him,” said the caller.
The caller said Morrisey was involved in some kind of dispute but did not mention any details during the call.
Valued member of Chapel Hill Fire Department
Retired Chapel Hill Fire Chief Dan Jones tweeted that Morrisey was a valued member of the fire department family.
Morrisey began working as a Chapel Hill firefighter in 2006, progressed to master firefighter and into the Life Safety Division in 2017, and most recently was working as a fire inspector, the Fire Department said in a tweet.
“Our main priority right now is to support Donnie’s family and our fire department family,” Fire Chief Vencelin Harris said in a statement. “We are heartbroken over the loss of our brother.”
(c)2021 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)