A Lake Elsinore man who may be on the run will face a murder charge when police find him.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that it filed one count of murder against 27-year-old Joseph David Dorsey in connection with the “brutal slaying” of Canyon Lake resident Christine Stewart, whose body was found Wednesday stuffed inside a suitcase .
It is alleged that 47-year-old Stewart was killed in Riverside County and her body taken by Dorsey to a Best Western Plus in Poway.
“Evidence found at Dorsey’s apartment on Main Street in Lake Elsinore when a search warrant was served there on Aug. 6, 2012, leads authorities to believe that Stewart had been there before she was murdered,” the DA’s office announced Friday.
During the course of their investigation, homicide detectives learned Dorsey had checked into a room at the Best Western on Poway Road, but he never checked out, according to the DA’s office.
“Motel employees took possession of property Dorsey left inside the room, including a large rolling suitcase, approximately 3 feet long and 18 inches wide and deep,” the DA’s office reported. “Homicide investigators found the body of Stewart, who was about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 100 pounds, inside the suitcase.”
Stewart worked as a behavioral health specialist at a county drug rehabilitation facility in Hemet, according to the DA’s office.
A warrant for Dorsey’s arrest was issued Friday. The pair had been reported missing by police earlier this week. The two had been in a dating relationship at the time of their disappearance, which was reported to police Aug. 4.
The DA’s office and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department are actively seeking the public’s help in locating Dorsey, who should be considered dangerous and has a prior prison record. He is described as 6 feet one inch tall, about 200 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He is possibly driving a dark blue 2003 Ford Explorer SUV with gray primer on the hood and front fender. The vehicle has a California license plate of 6UDY773.
Anyone with information about Dorsey or his vehicle is urged to call Investigator James Merrill of the Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777, or Investigator Ronnie Rosas of the Perris Station at (951) 210-1000.