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A Doctoral Student Went Missing While Celebrating the Fourth of July. Now Partner is Interested Person


A guy from Atlanta named Deundray Cottrell has been found dead. He went missing on July 4.

Birmingham Police Department says the man’s partner is a person of interest in the case. The man from Atlanta who went missing in Alabama on July 4 has been confirmed dead of murder.

Deundray Cottrell, 31, was last seen on July 4th with his family and friends at the home of a family member in Birmingham, Alabama, according to a news release.

Police say they got a call that night about a missing person. Cottrell’s family and friends said they couldn’t find him after last seeing him at the house.

Officers say they found pieces of Cottrell’s clothes when they searched the area where he was last seen. A member of the community also gave them surveillance footage of him walking in the area.

The news statement says that Cottrell’s body was discovered on July 6.

On social media the next day, the police force said that the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office had determined that Cottrell’s death was caused by murder. Julian Taylor Morris, Cottrell’s 31-year-old boyfriend, was also named as a person of interest in the case by the police.

Police asked for help in a news release to “find Deundray’s romantic partner who may have last seen or heard from Deundray the evening of his disappearance.”

In an interview with, the victim’s sister, Angelica Harris, talked about the night that Cottrell went missing. She said that Cottrell and Morris got to Birmingham around 6 p.m. on the holiday. She said that Cottrell told her he was going upstairs to check on his dog because of the fireworks four hours later, at 10 p.m., and she “never saw him again.”

The source said that Harris told the group that Morris told them that Cottrell “took off running through the backyard,” which is where they later found one of his shoes and his cell phone. She says they found a video from a security camera that showed Cottrell “running for his life” in the area.

According to Cottrell’s Instagram, he was working on his PhD after getting his master’s in public administration.

If you know anything about the case or where Morris is, please call the Homicide Unit at (205) 254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at (205) 254-7777.


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