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Person of interest in Deundray Cottrell murder case still wanted for questioning in Birmingham

Person of interest in Deundray Cottrell murder case still wanted for questioning in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Just days after a man was found dead after going missing over the weekend in Birmingham, an attorney for the man who police believe may have information about his death is speaking out.

On July 4, Deundray Cottrell’s family reported him missing in the 7900 block of 4th Avenue South. According to the family, Cottrell had come from Atlanta to spend the holiday with his family and friends, but could not be found later that evening. The following day, police obtained footage of Cottrell, 31, walking in the area, later recovering some of his clothing.


Deundray Cottrell (Photo courtesy of the Birmingham Police Department)

On Saturday, Cottrell was found dead a block away in the 7800 block of 5th Avenue South. After the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office ruled his death a homicide, the Birmingham Police Department began investigating the murder, naming Cottrell’s partner Julian Morris as a person of interest in the case, believing he may have “crucial information” in the case.

On Wednesday, BPD confirmed that prior to the discovery of Cottrell’s body, Morris had spoken to officers about the case. However, neither Morris nor his family have spoken to police since.

“BPD respects Julian Morris’s wish not to provide a statement,” the department responded in a statement. “We appreciate the community’s support for Deundray and his family as BPD homicide detectives continue to seek justice in the Deundray Cottrell homicide investigation.”

Following widespread media coverage of the case, particularly in Georgia, where Morris and Cottrell lived, attorney Victor Revill released a statement on Morris’ behalf:

“Mr. Morris is a college-educated veteran who served his country faithfully as a Marine. He has no prior misdemeanor or felony convictions. Despite the false narratives being promulgated about him in this situation, he loved Deundray Cottrell and is currently mourning the death of his loved one. Mr. Morris also wants answers and is awaiting those answers after a full and thorough investigation has been completed. Under the advice of legal counsel, he will not be making any further statements at this time.”

The case remains under investigation.