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When Arthur Morgan III is returned to Monmouth County, he will be held on $10 million cash-only bail in connection with the murder of his 2-year-old daughter, Tierra Morgan-Glover. Morgan will appear in a San Diego courtroom for an extradition hearing at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Thursday – the first step before he is returned to New Jersey to face charges of killing his daughter.
Monmouth County authorities contend Morgan killed his daughter, Tierra Morgan-Glover, by tossing her into a stream in the Shark River Park in Wall Township while she was still strapped in her car seat on Nov. 21.
Morgan was captured Tuesday after answering the door at a San Diego home around 4:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time where he was met by U.S. marshals who had surrounded the house, according to Steve Jurman, supervising deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service in that city.
Morgan is alleged to have killed his daughter on Nov. 21, after picking up the girl from her mother, Imani Benton, 24, of Lakehurst, for a court-approved visitation. He told the girl’s mother he intended to take Tierra to see the movie “Happy Feet Two” and would return around 6 p.m., although the visitation allowed him to keep the girl until 9 that night.
Following a tense four hours from 6 to 10 p.m. – a period that included 59 text messages from Morgan to Benton reassuring her the little girl was “resting,” Benton said Tuesday – the mother called police at 10 p.m. to report her daughter had not been returned home.
Morgan had been last seen alone on the platform of the Asbury Park train station between 7 and 8 p.m. on Nov. 21, just hours after he picked up Tierra from her mother, according to Warshaw.
Morgan must have boarded a northbound train in Asbury Park, because later that night he got on a bus heading for Richmond, Va. that left from Newark Penn Station, said Special Agent Bryan Travers, spokesman for the FBI in Newark.
The bus pulled into Richmond around 5 a.m. on Nov. 22, where 40 minutes later Morgan boarded a second Greyhound bus to continue to his intended destination of San Diego, a source revealed.
With Morgan on the bus just outside Johnson City, Tenn., several teens walking in Shark River Park called police just before 2:30 p.m. to report their grisly discovery of the dead toddler partially submerged in the creek there at an underpass for Schoolhouse Road, Warshaw said that day.
Morgan remained on board the Greyhound bus until about 2 a.m. the next day, Nov. 23, when he transferred to another bus in Memphis following a 40-minute layover there. About 12 hours later, Morgan got off that bus in Elk City, Okla., but failed to re-board the bus to continue on his trip, a source confirmed following revelations from James Solomon, 33, of Woodbridge, one of Morgan’s cousins, who said Morgan may have known investigators were hot on his trail.
“Police missed him by one stop, I was told,” Solomon said.
It is not clear when Morgan got back on a bus, but a source confirmed Morgan did arrive in San Diego on a bus within the next few days before he was found at the Euclid Street home where U.S. marshals captured him Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m glad they caught him,” Ida Frances Shaw, the aunt of Morgan’s mother, Jane Morgan Brooks, said today. “It’s a relief on that girl’s family and a relief on our family.”