Man Found Dead, Shot 9 Times, Not Murdered

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 4:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 10:49pm

FABENS - El Paso County Sheriff's Deputies just closed a case fit for a TV show.

In October a Border Patrol helicopter spotted a burning truck in the middle of the Fabens desert. Deputies found 19-year old Christopher Morales dead near the truck. He was shot 9 times. We're told his truck was also riddled with bullets.

Deputies learned that Morales sent picture and text messages to his ex-girlfriend. We're told they appeared to show that Morales was kidnapped and being tortured.

For weeks deputies treated Morales's death as a murder, but today we learned investigators closed the case, as a suicide. We asked a spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office for an on-camera interview to explain the case. He denied our request citing his respect for a grieving family. He did however answer our questions over the phone.

He said there was no evidence found to suggest Morales was murdered. He said investigators obtained video of Morales buying the .22 Rifle that killed him, and it was Morales's own fingerprint on the trigger. We asked how Morales could shoot himself 9 times and he said some of the gunshots were just fleshwounds. He also told us no one else's footprints were found near the body.

We're told those clues and an autopsy report that rules the death a suicide closed the case.

(Normally, we don't report suicides. We made an exception in this case because he was believed to have been murdered.)

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