Vanessa Morales’ father named suspect in her abduction, mother’s death, Ansonia police say

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ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Ansonia police have officially named Jose Morales — the father of Vanessa Morales — as a suspect in the death Christine Holloway and the disappearance of her 1-year-old daughter.

RELATED: Police positively identify woman found dead in Ansonia as mother of missing 1-year-old

On Dec. 5, police identified Holloway as the woman found dead in her Ansonia home on Dec. 2 during a welfare check. Her daughter, meant to be with her at the time, was nowhere to be found.

Officers said the cause of Holloway’s death was blunt-force trauma.

Jose Morales, 43, has been incarcerated since Dec. 3 on charges unrelated to his daughter’s disappearance and Holloway’s death. Officers said he has two stun guns in his home, which is illegal because he’s a convicted felon.

Police are still looking for Vanessa, who was last seen alive on Nov. 29. They are asking for the public’s help in finding her and bringing her back safely.

“We are not looking to arrest or start criminal proceedings against whoever has Vanessa; we just want her returned to her family,” the department said in a news release Tuesday.

News 8 spoke exclusively with Vanessa’s family on her father’s side Tuesday night.

When we asked police if they are confident they have the right guy, Lt. Patrick Lynch of Ansonia Police Department said, “We’re fairly confident, but we’re not focusing solely on him. We’re still following other leads and doing other follow ups. We haven’t focused solely on him. Right now he is the best person of interest at this time.”

When we asked him if they know where Vanessa is, Lynch said they do not and “that’s where our concern is.”

“It’s hard hearing we could have a family member that could be accused of something so horrible...And we’re just hoping for the best that it has nothing to do with my uncle.”

– Joshua Morales, Vanessa’s cousin

Those who saw Morales on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, or Dec. 2, are asked to contact the FBI tip line at (203) 503-5555 or the Ansonia Police Department at (203) 735-1885 or through Tip411.

Morales bond was set at $250,000. He is due in court on the unrelated charges Wednesday morning.

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