Mother of Sheena Morris rejects suicide ruling, but is ready to move on

jdeleon@bradenton.comNovember 22, 2013 

MANATEE -- Sheena Morris' mother says she doesn't believe her daughter committed suicide, as law enforcement and prosecutors have concluded, but she said Thursday she is ready to move on.

Kelly Osborn was not expecting what she heard when she meet with the State Attorney's Office on Wednesday, she said at a news conference Thursday.

"I thought they were going to say we have him in custody ... or it was homicide but there is too much circumstantial evidence and we can't prosecute the case," Osborn said. "I never expected them to come back and say suicide. We all know, America knows."

Sheena Morris was found dead hanging in the shower of a Bradenton Beach resort on New Year's Day 2009.

The Bradenton Beach police ruled her death a suicide.

In 2012 the investigation was reopened at the fami

ly's urging, as they believed Morris' fiance was to blame for her death.

In August, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement handed over its findings to the State Attorney's Office. Arthur Brown, Homicide Division chief, reviewed the case and on Wednesday agreed with FDLE's conclusion, that Morris' death in fact was a suicide.

"Every investigative avenue was exhausted and FDLE certainly looked at all aspects of the investigation," Brown said. "There is no evidence to indicate that she was murdered and no reliable evidence that points" to the fiance.

Brown met with Osborn, her husband and Morris' father Dave Morris on Wednesday to announce his decision not to prosecute.

"The feeling was just relief to have some answers, at the end," Osborn said Thursday. "It's time now to get some closure and resolution on this."

Osborn, however, said that while she was grateful for finally getting a thorough investigation to answers many of her questions, she still blames her daughter's fiance for her death.

"What we do know now is (he) is not a murderer but I hold him responsible for leaving my 22-year-old daughter alone in a hotel room, taking her money, her keys and leaving her in another town," she said. "I hold him responsible for this."

Since her daughter's death, Osborn has said that Bradenton Beach police did not conduct a thorough investigation.

"I hope that the Bradenton Beach Police Department never does this to another family," Osborn said.

At Thursday's press conference, Osborn stated that the she found many discrepancies as she read and dissected the investigation's report. Osborn also said many of her daughter's friends and supporters have reached out to her, saying investigators took their comments out of context.

"Law enforcement has the last word and so does the prosecutor, and justice has not been served" Osborn said. "I know for a fact that she didn't commit suicide."

Brown said the second investigation focused on the neighbors at the resort and the evidence.

"I have concerns, but my journey is over," Osborn said. "I have taken this as far as I can."

Dave Morris made his first public appearance on Thursday. While he does not live locally, he said it was not his first time coming to a meeting in person regarding his daughter's death.

"It has been very emotional for all of us, including myself," he said. "It's been a tough five years, it's been not the easiest thing we've been through."

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service