Morgan Bauer was 19 when she went missing in February 2016. Two people have just been arrested and charged in connection with her murder. She remains missing.
We will start with some background into Morgan.
Morgan Aryn Bauer was born on April 13,1996. Morgan’s mother is Sherri Keenan and she has a sister Alyssa. I haven’t been able to find out too much more about her family, but Sherri has been Morgan’s advocate over the years.
Morgan grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She graduated from Central High School.
After Morgan graduated, she had the dream to live in a big city. On February 12, 2016, Morgan traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, via Minneapolis. She had very limited funds – I have read she had around $20 which she had borrowed from a friend. She was waiting for her $630 tax return from H&R Block to be loaded onto her card.
Right before she left, Morgan and her mother Sherri got into a disagreement and were not speaking to each other.
Prior to their fight, Morgan told Sherri that she was moving in with two housemates, but this wasn’t true. She had been communicating with a man on Craigslist and had arranged to stay at his place. The arrangement was that she would perform housekeeping duties in exchange to live there.
This arrangement didn’t work out, and shortly after she arrived, the man asked Morgan to leave via a note. He put her belongings outside near the door and in the note, told her not to return.
From there, Morgan resorted to living in cheap motels. I am not sure how she funded this if she only had $20 to her name but that is what all reports on the internet say.
Morgan was in desperate need of employment. She found a job as an exotic dancer at the now-defunct Top of Gainesville strip club in Gainesville, Georgia.
This job didn’t last long and Morgan returned to Atlanta. On February 25, 2016, she went to the Tease strip club on Cheshire Bridge Road. According to the club’s manager, she’d applied for a position, but was missing the necessary paperwork.
Remember that Morgan arrived in Georgia on February 12, so all of this happened in under two weeks.
According to Sherri, the last time that Morgan communicated with her family was that day, February 25, 2016. This was considered out of character, as she was known for being incredibly active on her social media accounts. Her last posts to Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram are from that night. Morgan made a Facebook post on that day, saying she was employed at Tease which wasn’t true – she wrote “And I work here!”.
At some point on February 26, Morgan went back to Gainesville (around one hour from Atlanta) and she went back to the Top of Gainesville club. She left the club with another dancer and that dancer’s boyfriend. I now believe those two people are Katelyn Goble and Johnathan Alexander Warren.
Where they went and what they did is unclear, but what is confirmed is that Morgan was last seen alive at a Citgo gas station in the early hours of February 27, 2016. The gas station is in Covington, GA, around 80 mins away from Gainesville.
Morgan’s family and friends did not think it was too unusual when they first didn’t hear from her for a period of time. I guess they thought she might have been getting settled in a new location. Sherri and Morgan had also been fighting when Morgan moved, so there had been no communication between them anyway.
A friend of Morgan’s raised the alarm with Sherri after she had not been able to get in touch with Morgan for a few weeks.
Sherri realized something was wrong and she flew to Atlanta to search for Morgan.
Sherri reported Morgan missing on March 12, 2016, two weeks after she had last been heard from.
The search for Morgan began. Police tracked her cellphone and found that the last ping was just after midnight on February 27, 2016. This would line up with around the time that she was seen at the gas station The ping was in Porterdale, Georgia, where Katelyn and Johnathan lived. Police did search the area but nothing was found. Morgan’s cellphone was never located, and there has been no activity on it since.
When police questioned Katelyn and Johnathan, they denied at first that they had ever been with Morgan on the 27th. Eventually they changed their story and said that they watched her get into a green Mitsubishi Eclipse at the gas station. Police were never able to find any CCTV to support this story.
It also emerged that Katelyn had an audition at Tease on the day that Morgan disappeared. Morgan had offered to buy Katelyn’s license as Atlanta requires exotic dancers to have one.
Morgan’s family made a GFM to fund their search for her and they posted some info about Morgan’s social media movements:
We know she posted on Facebook until February 25th and on Instagram and Snapchat until the 29th. We know there are pics that were on Snapchat of her dancing, but of course they disappear. We know no one has spoken to her since February 29, 2016. We know her cell phone has gone straight to voicemail as well. We know these are not normal behaviors of hers. If she were to have Internet access she would be posting. We know her phone has been active, but it is our understanding that today is the last day of service.
I believe that post was made in March 2016 in terms of ‘today being the last day of service.’
The family also put a petition about the case on change.org titled ‘Demand a thorough investigation into the disappearance of MORGAN ARYN BAUER by Atlanta PD!’
According to that page, Katelyn and Johnathan made alarming social media posts after Morgan vanished. Katelyn made a post with a meme that said “Bob likes to kill, Bob kills for fun”, and she tagged Johnathan.
The change.org page was created in 2018 and by that time, the family clarified some info about Morgan’s social media footprint.
We cannot verify if her tax return was ever used. Her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media accounts all stop activity on or before February 25, 2016. She has never applied for a job in her name or done any kind of official documentation since she disappeared.
Just to backtrack for a minute, one month after Morgan disappeared, her sister Alyssa made an announcement that she believed Morgan was alive and well. Alyssa stated that Morgan had left South Dakota to get away from their ‘manipulative and bipolar’ mother, Sherri. She accused Sherri of setting up a GoFundMe under false pretences. Morgan’s best friend Taryn, who had originally told Sherri that Morgan was missing, also posted on a Facebook group that she believed she had been talking to Morgan online.
Sherri spoke out about her search efforts for Morgan. She said that she had hired a private investigator to aid in the search, but they only hindered it and used up valuable resources. Sherri also said that she had handed out thousands of flyers, spoken with news outlets, reached out to missing persons organizations and organized a billboard with information about the case.
After the initial push to find Morgan, things quietened down. Her case was sporadically covered over the years on television and podcasts.
In July 2023, things started to ramp up in Morgan’s case again. This is now 7 years after she vanished.
Police and the GBI searched a mansion in Porterdale, Georgia. The home belongs to a Dr Warren, the father of Johnathan Warren. He was one of the last people known to have seen Morgan alive.
Police said on Thursday July 27 that they have uncovered “items of evidentiary value” on the property, known as Porter House.
NewsChopper 2 was over the scene, where there were several tents set up in a wooded area near a large home. Police released video of FBI agents slowly combing the property in grid formation.
Police said a new search warrant was issued based on new details that recently came to light.
Sgt. Michael Anthony Walden with the Porterdale Police made a statement about Morgan. “She had left work in Gainesville and was not heard from again,” he said. “Over time information becomes clearer and locations become clearer.”
The Porterdale Police Department, Atlanta Police Department, Peoria, Illinois Police Department, Newton County Sheriff’s Office and Newton County District Attorney’s Office were all assisting the FBI in the investigation.
The question was asked at the time why police from Illinois were involved in the investigation.
“I don’t have the specifics, nor can I mention it at this time because it’s an ongoing development at this time,” Sgt Walden said.
On August 3, 2023, the Porterdale Police Department released the following statement:
Porterdale Police Officers are continuing the investigation for Missing Person Morgan Bauer. Chief Cripps would like to thank the News Media and the Public for their support. Porterdale Police Officers obtained arrest warrants and two persons have been arrested in this ongoing investigation. Investigators are still actively investigating the case and it is continuing to develop. Investigators are in constant communication with our District Attorney and his Office.
Katelyn Goble was arrested in Peoria, Illinois for the following charges:
• OCGA: 16-10-31 Felony, Concealing Death.
• OCGA: 16-10-94 Felony, Tampering with evidence.
Johnathan Alexander Warren was arrested in Los Angeles, California for the following charges:
• OCGA: 16-5-1(c) Felony, Murder.
• OCGA: 16-5-21 Felony, Aggravated Assault
• OCGA: 16-10-31 Felony, Concealing Death.
• OCGA: 16-10-94 Mis. Tampering with evidence.
We thank you for your cooperation and understanding regarding the sensitivity of the matter. The Newton County District Attorney will provide any future information requests about this investigation. Thank You