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Missing woman's body found in suitcase; boyfriend sought

SuitcaseMissingAuthorities issued an arrest warrant Friday for a man believed by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to have killed his girlfriend and stuffed her body into a suitcase that was then abandoned in a Poway motel room.

Joseph Dorsey, 27, has been charged with one count of murder in the slaying of Christine Stewart, 47, of Canyon Lake. Both had been missing since Saturday.

Authorities believe Stewart was killed in Riverside County and her body taken to San Diego County, where Dorsey had checked into a room at the Best Western on Poway Road.

Dorsey never checked out, and on Wednesday afternoon motel employees said they found a 3-foot suitcase left behind. Inside, authorities said, was the body of the missing 5-foot-2 woman.

Evidence found at Dorsey’s apartment on Main Street in Lake Elsinore led authorities to believe that Stewart had been there before she was killed.

Dorsey was described as 6-foot-1, 200 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen driving a dark blue 2003 Ford Explorer SUV with gray primer on the hood and front fender. The California license plate number was 6UDY773.

Anyone with information about Dorsey or Stewart is encouraged to contact Investigator James Merrill of the Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777 or Investigator Ronnie Rosas of the Perris Station at (951) 210-1000.


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-- Weston Phippen

Photo: Joseph Dorsey and Christine Stewart. Credit: Riverside Sheriff's Department.


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