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

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ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Ansonia police arrested Jose Morales Friday for the murder of Christine Holloway, a homicide that is connected to the Amber Alert issued two months ago for missing 1-year-old girl, Vanessa Morales.

Police announced during a news conference that 43-year-old Jose Morales has been charged with murder and tampering of evidence in the death of his girlfriend, Christine Holloway.

Holloway and Morales share a 1-year-old daughter, Vanessa Morales, who has been missing since Holloway was found dead in her home on Myrtle Avenue on Dec. 2.

RELATED: Missing two months: Ansonia PD, FBI continue search for missing 1-year-old, Vanessa Morales

Jose Morales Feb. 7, 2020 (Photo: Ansonia Police Department)

Police say Holloway died as a result of blunt force trauma on December 2nd. Police found her body in her home days later. Her daughter was nowhere to be found, but several items used to take care of the baby were missing from the home.

The arrest warrant for Morales includes graphic details from the autopsy. The report states a piece of Holloway’s skull was missing and loose hairs were found in Holloway’s hands that had DNA consistent with Morales’ and her own.

Police also said they found blood on Holloway’s walls, her rug, and on kitchen towels, and that it appeared someone tried to clean up the scene.

In the warrant, police also claim they found a trash bag with blood-like stains on it in a car belonging to Morales.

In the courtroom Friday morning in Derby, there was a surprise as Morales arrived for his arraignment. Attorney Norm Pattis was by his side. Pattis most-recently defended Fotis Dulos in the murder trial of his wife, New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos. A week ago, before his case could go to trial, Fotis committed suicide in his Farmington home.

RELATED: Future uncertain for Troconis, Mawhinney following the death of Fotis Dulos

Pattis originally told News 8 he had gotten a last-minute call from Morales’ family Friday morning to join him at the arraignment.

Early Friday night, News 8 confirmed with the family that Pattis has been hired to represent Morales.

“I read the warrant,” Pattis said. “It’s deeply disturbing. Our heart goes out to everyone as the search goes on for Vanessa.”

The disappearance Vanessa was not part of Friday’s court proceeding, although Ansonia police have said Morales is a prime suspect in her disappearance.

Police said in the news conference that they continue to get leads and their main goal remains finding Vanessa. They say they continue to believe that she is alive.

Related: Ansonia police working on arrest warrant for Jose Morales in the death of missing 1-year-old’s mother

“We continue to get leads every day,” said Lieutenant Patrick Lynch. “We won’t talk about the particular content or veracity of those. We’ll continue to follow any lead that we get to see if we can find baby Vanessa and bring her home.”

Morales is already incarcerated on charges unrelated to the death of Holloway.

His bond is now set for $5 million. His legal team requested the bond be lowered to $2 million, but that request was denied.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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