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Suspect in '88 slaying found in Colorado

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WESTON, Colo. - A retired Air Force sergeant suspected in the 1988 slaying of a Great Falls girl moved to this one-road town in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains a decade ago.

He built a cabin on 35 acres, headed the homeowners' association and registered to vote, never raising the suspicion of his neighbors and employers.

On Monday, prosecutors will ask that Wilfred "Bill" Morrisey, 62, be returned to Great Falls to face charges of deliberate murder and tampering with evidence.

Authorities suspect Morrisey in the shooting death of 9-year-old Dolana Clark, who disappeared Aug. 2, 1988. Her body was found by a hunter in October 1989 in the Little Belt Mountains near Great Falls.

"You never know," said Gary Ringo, who hired Morrisey to work part-time in his store near Trinidad. "He sure fooled a lot of us - if that's the case, anyway."

Montana authorities originally believed Clark was a runaway. Three months after her disappearance, Morrisey had left town, but not before raising some suspicions.

Police had given him two polygraph tests. During the first, he threw up, and the second test showed he was lying. He refused to take a third, court records show.

Police believe Clark rode her bicycle to Morrisey's house the day she disappeared to ask him for money she needed to buy a Siamese cat.

Her parents went to a bar that night. After drinking, Boyce and Bonnie Clark went to Morrisey's home, but the girl wasn't there. Morrisey told them to call the police. He launched a search, but would not drive either of his own cars.

Police believe the girl and her bike were in the trunk of Morrisey's 1963 Chevrolet Impala, according to court documents.

The unsolved case languished until August, when Great Falls police Sgt. John Cameron took a fresh look at the file.

He re-interviewed everyone involved and found inconsistencies. Police interviewed Melvin O'Brien, a friend who stayed in touch with Morrisey through letters.

O'Brien told police that Morrissey wrote often about his cat, a 15-year-old Siamese named Oreo. It is unknown if Oreo is the same cat Dolana was trying to buy.

On Aug. 31, Morrisey attended a meeting of his neighborhood homeowners' association and said he could no longer be part of the group because something "big" had happened in his life and he needed to move.

Great Falls police searched Morrisey's home on Sept. 3. But Morrisey had been tipped off by O'Brien, an affidavit says.

The Impala was parked in the garage. The keys were in the ignition and the car was packed with family pictures, insurance policies and family documents.

Police found the .22-caliber rifle that they think was the murder weapon. Morrisey had broken it into pieces and buried it in his back yard.

Morrisey blamed Boyce Clark for the girl's death and said that one week prior to the disappearance, he lent Boyce Clark the rifle. He said Boyce Clark returned the gun one week after his daughter disappeared.

Boyce Clark has said he had nothing to do with Dolana's death.

Locals called Morrisey a big talker who had strong opinions about the government and political spin, but he never said much about himself.

"He did like to talk," said neighbor John Dolores. "Anybody who would listen to him, he would talk your ear off. But he never invited us over to his house. He would talk, but he wouldn't let you into his life."

Morrisey worked a short stint as a meat cutter at Ringo's Market in Segundo to supplement his military retirement pay. He opened a coffee shop in Walsenburg and was president for one year of the homeowners' association.

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