Marla Heyman: On the evening of February 18, 2023, a tragic incident occurred in Southern Utah. It resulted in the untimely demise of 27-year-old Morgan Kay Harris and her beloved canine companion. They were found lifeless inside a storage unit around 5 pm. They were allegedly locked in by Harris’ boyfriend who subsequently left the premises. Unfortunately, when a fire broke out later, both Harris and her pet were unable to escape. It led to their tragic demise.
Law enforcement authorities suspect Harris’ boyfriend to be responsible for this heinous act and have taken him into custody in connection with her death.
Following the heartbreaking incident, Harris’ sister, Kit Critchlow, and mother, Laurice Williamson, set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the family. The campaign’s goal is to raise $30,000, and so far, around $16,000 has been raised.
Marlay Heyman’s Boyfriend
It has been reported that Morgan Kay Harris’ boyfriend has a criminal history, which adds a concerning dimension to the case. The fire was initially noticed by employees at a nearby car wash close to CubeSmart Self Storage in Murray. They promptly alerted the authorities as they witnessed flames engulfing six storage containers. One of those containers tragically contained Harris and her dog, Huck.
A worker at the car wash informed KSL-TV that surveillance footage revealed a man leaving the area and “climbing over the fence” just before the fire erupted.
According to reports, Alexander Wardell, 30, has been detained and is being held at Salt Lake County Prison. He is charged with kidnapping and negligent homicide. Wardell reportedly confessed to authorities that Harris was his girlfriend and that he had locked the storage unit door.
News outlets have disclosed that Alexander Wardell has previously been convicted multiple times for domestic violence charges, with the earliest charge dating back to 2013.
KUTV further reported that on February 16, 2023, Wardell was issued a warrant by Salt Lake City police due to a probation violation. He posted a $5,000 bond and was released the following day.
As investigations are still underway, it remains uncertain if Alexander Wardell started the fire. Authorities are working hard to figure out what caused the fire. Harris’ family issued an emotional statement in which they acknowledged their great grief over the loss of their beloved daughter. They also offered gratitude to the community for their tremendous love and support. They kindly requested privacy during this delicate period.
Marla Heyman’s Family Statement
The family’s statement highlighted Harris’ remarkable qualities, describing her as a role model, talented makeup artist, and accomplished medical assistant. They fondly remembered her sweet, shy nature, intellectual depth, exceptional artistic abilities, and infectious laughter.
Within the GoFundMe campaign post, Laurice Williamson, Harris’ mother, conveyed her heartfelt appreciation for the generous donations and supportive messages received. She also shared the family’s determination to advocate for changes within the legal system. It would better protect innocent individuals, like their daughter, from violent criminals.
The family expressed their gratitude towards Murray City Police Detective Gruendell for his dedicated efforts in seeking justice for Harris.
Finally, the Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah announced that a Celebration of Life ceremony for Morgan Kay Harris will be held at their St. George, Utah location on March 4, 2023, allowing loved ones to pay their respects and honor her memory.