A Lake Elsinore man suspected of killing a woman then stuffing her body in a suitcase is due in court today.
During a preliminary trial scheduled Friday morning at Southwest Justice Center, Judge Michael Rushton will decide if there is enough evidence for Joseph Dorsey, 28, to stand trial in the killing death of Christine Stewart, 47, of Canyon Lake. Dorsey is currently facing one count of murder and allegations of prison priors.
A warrant was issued for Dorsey’s arrest after police found on Aug. 8 Stewart’s body stuffed inside a suitcase in a Best Western Motel room located in Poway, a quiet city located in north San Diego County. The pair had allegedly been dating and days earlier were reported missing.
It’s alleged that Dorsey killed Stewart in Riverside County and took her body to the motel on Poway Road. Evidence found at Dorsey’s apartment on Main Street in Lake Elsinore lead authorities to believe Stewart was there before she was killed.
During the course of their investigation, homicide detectives learned Dorsey had checked into a room at the motel, but he never checked out.
“Motel employees took possession of property Dorsey left inside the room, including a large rolling suitcase, approximately 3 feet long and 18 inches wide and deep,” said John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. “Homicide investigators found the body of Stewart, who was about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 100 pounds, inside the suitcase.”
Hall called the slaying “brutal.”
The victim worked as a behavioral health specialist at a drug rehabilitation facility in Hemet.
Check back for updates on today's proceedings.