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Thursday, April 24, 2014         

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Police: Bloody clothes link Bellagio slashing suspect and dead girl

By Associated Press

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LAS VEGAS >> Las Vegas police revealed new details in the stabbing death of a young girl found just after Christmas, saying the child's blood was on clothes recovered from the apartment of a woman accused of slashing a casino dealer with razor blades.

An arrest report released Monday shows how police came to suspect Brenda Stokes in the death of 10-year-old Jade Morris, whose body was found in an undeveloped housing tract last week after being reported missing by her mother.

The girl had last been seen alive at about 5 p.m. Dec. 21, when she left with Stokes to go Christmas shopping. Stokes, 50, had been dating the child's father for about four years and the child considered the woman her stepmother, police said.

About four hours after picking the girl up, Stokes went to the Bellagio and attacked a co-worker, according to police. The woman was hospitalized with deep cuts on her face, including one from her ear to the edge of her mouth.

Stokes was wrestled to the ground at the casino with razors in each hand, police said. She was initially booked on suspicion of burglary, battery and mayhem in the casino attack.

When Jade didn't return from shopping, her mother, Tejuana Reeves-Morris, reported her missing.

After a records check, police determined Stokes was the same woman arrested Dec. 21 in the Bellagio attack.

Detectives said they questioned the jailed Stokes about the missing girl's whereabouts, but she told police she didn't know the child or her mother, and she refused to answer other questions.

After questioning friends, investigators searched Stokes' apartment and found a dark-colored, floral pants suit with blood on it that DNA testing confirmed belonged to the child, the report said.

Stokes was later re-booked on suspicion of murder and kidnapping, and is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

Her attorney, Tony Liker, was not immediately available for comment Monday.

Authorities have not disclosed a suspected motive for the slaying or slashing attack.

The girl's body was found Thursday in North Las Vegas by someone walking her dog.

Stokes, who also goes by Brenda Stokes Wilson, is due in court Wednesday for an arraignment on the casino slashing case, and for a hearing on the murder and kidnapping case.







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