Sister of Dancer Found Dead Claimed Partner Didn't Look for Him, Kept Eating After He Vanished

Deundray Cottrell was found dead on July 6. His death has been ruled a homicide, and his romantic and business partner has been labeled a person of interest in the investigation

<p>Deundray Cottrell/Instagram </p> Deundray Cottrell

Deundray Cottrell/Instagram

Deundray Cottrell

Deundray Cottrell, 31, was visiting his sister and her family with his romantic and business partner Julian Morris in Birmingham, Ala., when he vanished on July 4.

Cottrell's sister, Angelica Harris, told 11 Alive that her brother was visiting for the holiday and went inside of her home around 9 p.m. to check on their dog after fireworks began. She told the outlet this was the last time she saw her brother — further claiming that about an hour later, Morris, 31, told her that Cottrell had jumped out of a window in the house and left.

Harris said that she and her family immediately began searching for her brother, but alleged that Morris stayed at her house, eating.

"Everyone was searching, he was eating," Harris claimed. After Cottrell's disappearance, Harris asked Morris to leave, she told 11 Alive, and he hasn't been seen or heard from him since.

According to the Birmingham Police Department, Morris was Cottrell's romantic partner at the time of his disappearance. Cottrell — who had been living in Atlanta for the past decade — and Morris were also a part of an Atlanta dance trio named Skiiboyz Entertainment along with DeEric Garnell, according to the business' Instagram page.

Two days after he disappeared, Cottrell's body was located in a shed. His death has been ruled a homicide, and Morris has been named a person of interest in the investigation. Cottrell's cause of death has not been announced.

According to a press release, police are still working to locate Morris for questioning, but he has not been labeled a suspect and has not been charged.

<p>Birmingham Police Department</p> Julian Morris

Birmingham Police Department

Julian Morris

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Harris told that while searching for her brother, she found security footage that captured her brother in the area that evening.

“It looked like he was looking for refuge,’’ Harris told the outlet. “He was running for his life.”

It's unclear if anyone else was seen on the footage, but the existence of the footage has been confirmed by the Birmingham Police Department. Authorities also stated that some of Cottrell's clothing was also found during the search.

Related: Doctoral Student Vanished While Celebrating Fourth of July. Now Partner Is Person of Interest

In an Instagram tribute, Garnell remembered Cottrell as a "beautiful angel." Garnell added, in part, "You pushed me to become a better man by teaching me things that I never learned when growing up. We were each other’s Yin and Yang. I was the crazy energetic spirit while you complimented me with your suave, chill vibes. We watched each other grow from little boys to handsome grown men. We stood 14 years strong!!!!!"

The Birmingham Police Department has asked for the public's help in locating Morris. He is described as a Black male who is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 160 lbs.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Birmingham Police Department's Homicide Unit at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information.

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