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Las Vegas police say body is that of missing girl, 10, who died of stab wounds

Las Vegas Police Department

An undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Police Department shows Jade Morris, 10.

Authorities on Friday identified a body found in an undeveloped housing tract in North Las Vegas as Jade Morris, 10, who was last seen Dec. 21 with a suspect in a casino slashing case. The girl, whose body was discovered on Thursday, died of multiple stab wounds, officials from the Clark County coroner's office said.

Jade's family say they last saw her about 5 p.m. on Dec. 21 with Brenda Stokes, who had picked her up to go Christmas shopping. Family members say the girl had a close relationship with Stokes, who used to date her father.

Stokes, 50, was arrested later that night after prosecutors say she slashed a co-worker at the Bellagio casino with razor blades. Stokes appeared in court in that case Friday, when a judge raised her bail to $600,000.

Las Vegas police homicide Capt. Chris Jones said earlier on Friday that Stokes, who also uses the name Brenda Wilson, had not cooperated in the investigation of the girl's whereabouts. 

A passer-by called 911 about noon Thursday, and North Las Vegas police found a girl's body in brush near palm trees in a small traffic circle, about 10 miles from the downtown Las Vegas outlet mall where Stokes was to have taken the girl shopping. 

Stokes picked up the girl at about 5 p.m. and two hours later returned to another friend the red 2007 Saab sedan that she borrowed for the shopping trip, Jones said. 

Later, Stokes got a ride with a friend to the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip, where she was arrested after authorities say she attacked a female co-worker, Joyce Rhone, with a razor in each hand as Rhone dealt blackjack about 9:30 p.m. 

Rhone, 44, was hospitalized with deep cuts on her face, including one from her ear to the edge of her mouth. A police arrest report said Rhone also had several smaller cuts around her right eye.

Clark County Detention Center

Brenda Stokes, 50, is shown in a booking photo.

Records show that Stokes was being held at the Clark County jail on charges of felony battery with a weapon, burglary and mayhem charges that could get her decades in prison. No charges stemming from Jade's death have been filed.

The arrest report says casino video shows Stokes attacking Rhone before a casino patron and security officers intervene. Officer Marcus Martin said the video is evidence that may be shown by prosecutors in court but will not be made public by police. 

Police said Stokes later told investigators that she attacked Rhone over harassing phone calls and an unspecified betrayal that ended their seven-year friendship. 

Stokes also told police she visited her doctor last week, seeking to be admitted to a hospital "due to feeling like she wanted to hurt someone." 

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