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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Suspects in fatal Hudson fire identified after Indiana standoff

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Published:   |   Updated: February 21, 2014 at 09:12 PM

HUDSON — Two men involved in a standoff with police at a hotel in Indiana this week are suspects in the double homicide of two Hudson women whose bodies were found Feb. 3 when their home was set afire to cover up the crime, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said Friday.

One of the men died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during the standoff and the other has been extradited to Michigan, where the two were wanted on armed robbery charges, Nocco said.

Richard M. Morris, 44, of Waterford, Mich., died at the scene of the Monday morning standoff at a Red Roof Inn in Taylorsville, Ind. His stepson, Zachary Baker, 26, also from Waterford, surrendered, Nocco said.

The sheriff said investigators from his office traveled to Indiana after Baker’s arrest and likely will travel to Michigan to further question him in the deaths of Jessica Keith and Amber Lynn Jordan, 24-year-old roommates whose bodies were found during a fire at their home at 14235 Pine St. in Hudson.

“We believe these two suspects killed these girls and then fled to Michigan,” Nocco said.

Investigators said they were suspicious about the fire almost immediately, and a medical examiner’s report confirmed that Keith and Jordan were victims of homicide and the fire was an attempt to hide the true reason for their deaths.

Nocco said the two women had been manufacturing and selling crack cocaine, and sometime prior to Feb. 3 had called the sheriff’s office to report that Morris and Baker had robbed them, he said. Apparently, the men had not paid them for drugs, Nocco said.

The sheriff’s office planned to investigate, Nocco said, but was not able to make contact again with the two women. Then the fire happened.

After that, Morris and Baker headed to Oakland County, Michigan, where they reportedly committed armed robberies and possibly a home invasion, Nocco said.

On the run in Michigan, the two traveled to Indiana where the standoff with police happened after Michigan police received a tip about their whereabouts, Nocco said.

rblair@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @RBlairTBO

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