THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — More than a year after PIX11 News reported on the case of missing Bronx artist Vanessa Morris — who suffered from PTSD after witnessing her cousin’s murder —the NYPD confirmed Wednesday that Morris has been located in Texas.
“I feel grateful to God that she’s alive,” the woman’s mother, Linda Morris, told PIX11 News Wednesday. “I promised her I won’t try to disrupt her life.”
The NYPD tracked down Vanessa Morris, 53, with assistance from Dallas police, after the missing woman applied for health benefits in Texas. A letter concerning the benefits came to Morris’ old Bronx address, where her mother lives near Van Cortlandt Park South.
After the mother gave the letter to a detective from the NYPD’s 50th Precinct, authorities in Texas gave Vanessa Morris the Bronx investigator’s number. The woman called the NYPD detective while he was at the mother’s apartment Tuesday evening.
“He said, ‘I’m here with your mom. Do you want to speak with her?'” Linda Morris told PIX11 News.
The daughter agreed to speak to her mother.
“She was crying. She kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, mom. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to try and make it on my own,'” the mother said, recounting the conversation.
Linda Morris said her daughter kept asking for forgiveness.
“I just kept reassuring her we’re not mad at her,” Linda Morris recounted.
The detective promised Vanessa Morris he wouldn’t divulge her whereabouts to her mother or other family members.
The talented artist has been through a lot in her lifetime.
More than 20 years ago, Vanessa Morris witnessed her cousin’s husband shoot the woman dead the day after Christmas. The husband was on the run for two years, and Morris apparently worried he would come after her. At one point, she moved to Seattle.
Vanessa Morris moved back with her mother and, in the last six years at home, she had stopped working and spent a lot of time in her room, creating impressive paintings and other art. She left everything behind when she disappeared on Sunday night, March 20, 2022, even her cell phone and keys.
Not long after Vanessa Morris disappeared, her debit card was used at a 7/11 store — not far from an Amtrak train station in Dallas. Surveillance footage showed a woman wearing a hat and hood at the store on March 22, 2022.
“According to the detective, the timing would align with her taking an Amtrak train to Dallas,” the mother said at the time.
Linda Morris kept count of exactly how long her daughter was gone: one year, one month, and 11 days. And she’s respecting her daughter’s wishes to keep her distance.
“She’s safe and she’s healthy,” the mother said. “It just reminds me that God answers prayers.”