April 5, 2007 in City

Police link same suspect to killings in Moscow, Boise

Todd Dvorak Associated Press

BOISE – The slayings of a University of Idaho student last weekend in Moscow and a Boise man whose body was found in a pond here Tuesday have been linked to the same man, police in both cities say.

Authorities say they are focusing on John Joseph Delling as they investigate a pair of shooting deaths that occurred over a three-day span in cities more than 400 miles apart.

Delling, 21, was arrested Tuesday by police in Sparks, Nev., on a stolen car warrant issued by Ada County and a first-degree murder warrant issued by Moscow police in the death of UI senior David Boss, a former high school classmate of Delling. The body of the 21-year-old history major was found early Saturday in the kitchen of his off-campus apartment.

Police have also identified Delling as the lead suspect in the death of Bradley Morse, 25, whose body was found Tuesday morning in a Boise city park pond near the Idaho Shakespeare Festival grounds.

Both victims died of two gunshot wounds to the head, authorities say, but no weapon has been found.

“We believe these two homicides are connected,” Moscow Police Chief Dan Weaver told a news conference Wednesday. “We are confident John Delling committed the homicide of David Boss, although we currently do not have an identified motive.”

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney said people interviewed by detectives reported seeing Delling at the park Monday night – the same night Morse, a Boise State University student, was working a shift as a part-time custodian in a park building. When Delling was apprehended in Nevada, he was driving a car registered to Morse, Raney said.

“He obviously is a suspect,” Raney said.

But for now, the similarities end there.

Authorities declined to speculate on a motive or describe any recent relationship between Delling and the victims.

Investigators believe Morse was killed as Delling, 21, whose last known address was Antelope, Calif., made his way south from Moscow. Delling also attended UI but left school in 2005.

Delling was tracked down by detectives using cell phone records. A telephone registered to Delling was used to make a call to Boss at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, about the time Boss was slain, Moscow Assistant Police Chief David Duke said. Police then worked with the telephone company Sprint to trace Delling to Sparks, in northwest Nevada.

Delling was being held in the Washoe County Jail, Raney said. It was not immediately known if he was represented by a lawyer.

Morse’s body was found Tuesday by a parks and recreation employee, who followed a blood trail that originated from a nearby sidewalk. Evidence suggests Morse was killed after he closed down the park building at 9:30 p.m. Monday and his body was dragged to the pond, Raney said.

Morse was a senior computer science major who made the BSU Dean’s List for his grades three times, BSU President Bob Kustra said, adding, “Bradley was an excellent student. We are shocked at this senseless act.”

Investigators are also trying to piece together Delling’s activities in Boise before and after Morse’s slaying.

Based on evidence, Raney speculated that Delling returned a rental car to the Boise airport after the shooting, then somehow returned to the park and left in Morse’s vehicle.

Delling has a criminal record that includes a 2006 misdemeanor conviction for stalking in Boise and a 2005 conviction for misdemeanor battery.

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