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Jose Morales, father of missing 1-year-old Vanessa Morales, pleaded not guilty in murder of former girlfriend


MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Jose Morales, the man charged with murdering his former girlfriend Christine Holloway, pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.

RELATED: Jose Morales charged with murder in death of Ansonia mother Christine Holloway

Morales is accused of killing Holloway at her home in Ansonia back in December. He is facing tampering with evidence and murder charges.

Back on Dec. 2, Holloway was found dead in her bathtub beaten to death. The 1-year-old daughter she shares with Morales, Vanessa Morales, has been missing since that day. Morales is additionally the prime suspect in her disappearance.

In his latest court appearance Tuesday, Attorney Norm Pattis was by Morales’ side as he pleaded not guilty to the murder of Holloway.

Pattis most-recently represented Fotis Dulos in connection to the disappearance of his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos.

Kevin Smith, who is also part of Morales’ legal team, said they will spend the days leading up to the next court date focusing on evidence.

“We will be providing them with the means to get us discovery,” he said. “Discovery is the evidence that they would want to use in the case. We will be looking that over and also pursuing our own leads as far as you’ve seen the warrant. There are unknown, third parties that are identified so we are going to be following up on those things.”

The State’s Attorney released a statement following the court hearing, reminding the public that the investigation into Vanessa’s disappearance is still ongoing:

Ethical rules preclude our office from commenting on a pending case therefore we will not be commenting on the Jose Morales case.

However, we would like to remind the public that the Ansonia Police Department is still investigating the disappearance of Vanessa Morales. Anyone with information into the disappearance or whereabouts of Vanessa Morales are asked to contact the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885 or the FBI New Haven Hotline at 203-503-5555. There is a $10,000 reward for information.

Howard S. Stein, Superisory Assistant State’s Attorney

There’s been an amber alert issued in the case of Vanessa’s disappearance and a $10,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

Morales’ bond was set at $5 million. A new court date has been set for March 5.

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