Woman and her Dog Found Dead in Utah Storage Unit after Boyfriend Locked Them In, Police Say

A tragic incident took place in Murray, Utah, where a 27-year-old woman and her dog were found dead in a storage unit on Saturday. It is believed that her boyfriend, Alexander Wardell, locked her inside the unit and left her there with no way of escape. After doing so, a subsequent fire broke out.

Upon Wardell’s arrest, he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and charged with kidnapping and negligent homicide. Before the fire broke out at the storage facility, Wardell had just been released from jail.

A neighboring car wash employee noticed the fire at Cubesmart Self Storage in Murray and called for help. Responders found six storage units on fire, including the one the woman was locked in. Police identified the victim as Morgan Kay Harris, who was found dead along with her dog inside one of the units.

It is still unclear whether Wardell started the fire. Surveillance footage from the car wash showed a man leaving the scene just before the blaze broke out. He was “coming over the fence,” according to an employee that witnessed his great escape.

Since 2013, Wardell has been convicted of multiple domestic violence offenses. According to local news station KUTV, Wardell was arrested last Thursday for a probation violation and released the following day after paying a $5,000 bond.

In order to help with funeral costs, the victim’s family has set up a GoFundMe page. As of Thursday evening, the fundraiser had received over $16,000 in donations.

Laurice Williamson, Harris’ mother, expressed gratitude for the support and said they hope to make an impact on how violent criminals are dealt with in the legal system. That way, innocent people like Morgan can be protected from harm.

The case remains under investigation by the Murray Police Department, and more details are expected to emerge in the coming days.