Woman Found Dead After House Fire Was Murdered; One Arrested
June 11, 2013
A woman found dead following a weekend house fire in Atmore was murdered, and her accused killer is now behind bars.
A neighbor reported smoke coming from a house at 227 Adams Street about 5:20 Saturday morning. Once the fire was contained and fire fighters were able to enter the residence, the remains of 60-year old Mildred Jackson Morris were found on the living room couch where family members stated she normally slept. Morris was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel. Fire officials said the fire was contained mostly to the living room of the home.
The State Fire Marshall was called to the scene to help determine the origin of the fire. Once Morris’ body was moved, investigators said was evident that officers were working a crime scene and a homicide investigation started. The body was transported to the Alabama Department of Science in Mobile to help determine the cause of death. Officials said those findings are preliminary and the investigation is ongoing and pending lab results.
About 11 a.m. Saturday, a person of interest identified as 40-year Collis McCaster of Atmore, was arrested in Atmore on an outstanding felony warrant from Conecuh County, AL. He was also questioned in Morris’ death.
On Monday, McCaster was transported to the Foley (AL) Police Department where he voluntary underwent a polygraph test and answered questioned concerning the fire.
After completion of the polygraph test, McCaster met with investigators from the Atmore Police Department in a separate interview and confessed to committing crimes against Morris and causing her death, police said.
McCaster was charged with capital murder, first degree arson and first degree sexual abuse. McCaster is being held in the Escambia County (AL) Detention Center in Brewton.
Family members said McCaster was a homeless man that Morris would help out, sometimes feeding him and allowing him to stay in her home.
Pictured top and bottom: A woman found dead following a fire at the Adams Street home in Atmore was murdered. Pictured below: Firemen fill out statements for law enforcement following the blaze. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.