A resident of Springfield, Mass., it is believed that Morales, 36, accepted a ride home after a day's work at Unicare, Inc. in Springfield on March 3. It is likely that Morales knew the driver who was also the murderer.
Mary Morales' husband, Edgardo Morales, was known to be involved with drug activity in the north end of Springfield. Although he was not a suspect in Morales' death, it is believed individuals associated with Edgardo Morales may have killed the as part of a retaliation strike - perhaps a drug deal gone bad. Vermont State Police have recovered several pieces of evidence relative to this homicide, but are still searching for additional clues.
According to VSPDet./Sgt. John Merrigan, there are several suspects living, or had lived, in the Springfield, Mass. area. All of Mary Morales' family and friends left the Springfield area after the murder, he noted.
VSPDet. Richard Holden said he suspects that Morales was killed in Massachusetts and her body dumped in Vermont.
Springfield, Mass. Police have identified "persons of interest," but an arrest has yet to be made a dozen years after the murder. Holden noted that, as much as it troubles him to say it, "there's a killer out there somewhere."
If you have any information on the Morales case, contact Det./Sgt. Merrigan at 802-875-2112.
The killing field
The 1977 unsolved murder of Joan Gray Rogers has plagued state investigators since her body was found July 15, 1977.
Rogers' body was found in a fallow field on the old Bagley Farm along Highway 45. Apparently, she was strangled manually, but beyond the typical marks of strangulation, no evidence was found to point to a motive or a killer.
Described as having gray-brown, blue eyes, and weighing 175 pounds, Rogers is remembered as being a friendly, pleasant neighbor.