Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Carlee went outside of her apartment building with the permission of her mother to make a phone call, just after midnight on on August 20. She never returned. Carlee made an unanswered phone call, but left no voice-mail message for the recipient. Realizing her daughter had not returned after about an hour, Morse called Carlee's cell phone, which went straight to voice mail. She left behind all her personal belongings and was barefoot when she left. The mother didnít believe her daughter was a runaway since she had gone outside without shoes, money or a change of clothes. There has been no activity on her cell phone since she disappeared.
Two men -- Justin Lee Yoshikawa from Westland and Nicholas Jay Cottrell from Taylor -- have confessed to Killing Carlee Morse the same day she turned up missing from her familyís Westland apartment. Nicholas Cottrell pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the death of the teen. Nicholas Cottrell was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison. Justin Yoshikawa, 20, was sentenced to 35-65 years for the slaying of his ex-girlfriend. Yoshikawa pleaded guilty to second-degree murder during the third day of his trial for having a friend lure the girl out of her home so he could strangle her and dispose of her body in a Dumpster behind a church.
Nicholas Cottrell had told authorities the two were in a marijuana-induced haze when she climbed into the front seat of Cottrell's car wearing no shoes and only her sleepwear. Yoshikawa waited hidden in the back seat, then rose to strangle the girl with a dog leash Cottrell said they put her body in a garbage bag and dumped her in a church trash bin about two hours south of Michigan. He told the judge he does not remember the exact location. Her remains were never found despite searches by police and her family that included area landfills.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Westland Police Deptartment
Officer Matt Bobby