An Arizona man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of his older brother, police say.
Michael John Morgan, 44, stands accused of multiple crimes including murder in the second degree, abandoning or concealing a body, and tampering with evidence for allegedly killing his brother, George Thomas Morgan, 45, and then hiding his body following an extended series of arguments and resulting fights inside the family home.
The alleged victim’s body has yet to be found.
“The repeated incidents ended, and neither were seen for a period of time,” the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement obtained by Phoenix-based Fox affiliate KSAZ. “When Michael returned to the residence but George did not, [it caused] family to report George missing on November 12, 2023.”
The mother of the Morgan brothers saw the fight, according to court documents obtained by independent and CBS affiliated Phoenix TV station KTVK and AZ Central. According to her witness statement, the fight began in the dining room and was overheard by the presumed dead man’s daughter — who also lives there.
George Morgan was said to be in control of the fight, his mother allegedly told police, hitting and injuring his younger brother several times before leaving the house. Next, Michael Morgan allegedly cleaned up his wounds and followed his older brother outside. Then the argument started again, the mother said. After that, however, George Morgan was never seen again.
Michael Morgan appears in a booking photo. (Phoenix Police Department)
The mother told police that she saw her younger son leave in his red Chevrolet Tahoe. Family members also told police that the presumed dead man would never leave without his daughter, glasses, or false teeth. But all were reportedly left behind on the day in question.
George Morgan’s adult son arrived home some 15 minutes after the defendant first left and tried to find his father by repeatedly calling his cellphone, police say. That effort went nowhere as it became clear the phone had been turned off. After that, the distraught son told police he searched the backyard and saw what looked like blood that had been cleaned up using a water hose. The missing man’s son also said he found blood on his father’s car and hat.
George Morgan’s son later confronted Michael Morgan, who had since returned home, about the blood. The defendant allegedly mentioned the numerous fights between the two but insisted he did not know where his brother was, police say.
After a search of nearby areas and hospitals for George Morgan, the matriarch of the family filed a missing person’s report just after midnight on Nov. 21. The defendant is alleged to have left the house again upon learning police were called. Michael Morgan allegedly returned home one last time after that — in order to clean something up with chemicals — and left for good at 9 a.m. on Nov. 13.
An ensuing investigation determined that the missing man’s cellphone left the residence at around the same time as Michael Morgan drove away, according to law enforcement.
Michael Morgan was arrested at a Home Depot on Nov. 18 in the far southeastern Phoenix suburb of Queen Creek, which is near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. According to police, the defendant’s SUV was processed and found to contain evidence of a crime.
The accused man maintains his innocence.
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