Tucson escrow agent Charles C. Morgan's body was found lying near his new Mercury Cougar 40 miles west of Tucson 11 days after he disappeared in 1977. Morgan, 39 was wearing a bulletproof vest, a belt buckle that concealed a knife and a holster when he was shot in the back of the head with his own .357-caliber Magnum revolver. No fingerprints were found on the gun next to him.

In his car, Pima County sheriff's investigators found a cache of ammunition, several weapons, CB radios and one of Morgan's teeth wrapped in a handkerchief. The car was modified so it could be unlocked from the fender. A $2 bill with several Spanish surnames and a map of the area written on it was found pinned to his underwear.

In newspaper articles at the time, Morgan - a family man and a Mason - was said to have done escrow work for members of organized-crime families.

He had recently testified in a secret state investigation on illegal activity on both sides of the Arizona-Mexico border and told people he was working undercover with the Treasury Department.

STATUS

At the time, the Pima County Sheriff's Department said Morgan had been hiding out at a west-side motel for more than a week before he died. An acquaintance told investigators Morgan was trying to pull together enough cash to buy off "a contract on his life."

The department classified the case as a suicide, said spokeswoman Deputy Dawn Barkman. However, the county Medical Examiner's Office listed it as an unsolved death.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

Morgan's wife, Ruth, died of cancer in 2006. The couple's four daughters maintain their father was murdered to protect the interests of corrupt businessmen and politicians.

"My father had a lot of information about people here in Tucson that could have been very detrimental," said Megan Hidey "There was a lot of information about politicians, people who are still alive that work in our government. He had that information, and they wanted to silence him."

 

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