Twenty-seven-year-old Joseph David Dorsey of Lake Elsinore has been MIA for more than a week despite a warrant for his arrest, but police say they will get their man.
Dorsey’s the alleged killer of a woman found Aug. 8 stuffed inside a suitcase in a Best Western Motel on Poway Road.
“If he gets stopped anywhere in the country, the warrant will pop up,” said Deputy Albert Martinez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the lead agency on the investigation.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has filed one count of murder against Dorsey in connection with the slaying of Canyon Lake resident Christine Stewart.
It’s alleged that 47-year-old Stewart was killed in Riverside County and her body taken by Dorsey to the Poway hotel. Evidence found at Dorsey’s apartment on Main Street in Lake Elsinore lead authorities to believe Stewart was there before she was killed.
During the course of their investigation, homicide detectives learned Dorsey had checked into a room at the hotel, but he never checked out.
“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,” said John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. “Homicide investigators found the body of Stewart, who was about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 100 pounds, inside the suitcase.”
Details on how Stewart was killed have not been released by authorities, but Hall called the slaying “brutal.”
Dorsey and Stewart had been in a dating relationship, according to Martinez. The pair had gone missing just before Stewart’s body was found, and police had asked for the public’s help in finding them. After the grisly Aug. 8 discovery, a warrant was issued for Dorsey’s arrest.
The victim worked as a behavioral health specialist at a drug rehabilitation facility in Hemet, Martinez said.
Martinez said Dorsey should be considered dangerous, noting that the suspect has a prison record. Dorsey is described as 6 feet 1 inches 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.
Martinez said multiple law enforcement agencies have been contacted about the case, but he could not disclose details about the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about Dorsey or his vehicle is urged to call Investigator James Merrill of the Riverside County Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777, or Investigator Ronnie Rosas at (951) 210-1000.