MALONE — Adam J. Morris apparently confessed this week to killing a Quebec woman, missing since 2004, and told police to look for her body in a sand pit near his home.

Morris, 30, of 362 Badore Road, Malone was charged Thursday with promoting a sexual performance by a child.

During that investigation, he was linked with the disappearance four years ago of Nathalie Fournier, 28, of St. Catherine, Quebec, State Police said.

He had not been charged with any other crimes as of Friday afternoon.

State Police, Quebec Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police continued their investigation, searching the sand pit for the remains of Fournier, who was last seen about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 14, 2004, at La Place A Lorenzo on Highway 15 near Saint-Mathieu de La Prairie.

Police said Morris “provided information linking himself” to her disappearance.

Investigators and Department of Transportation workers spent hours digging and moving mountains of earth to uncover any signs of Fournier at the sand pit, which is situated off 57 Denio Road.

“We have reason to believe we will find Ms. Fournier here,” said Maj. Richard Smith, commander of Troop B headquarters in Ray Brook.

“We have confidence that (Morris) is being truthful,” he said, in pointing out where to look.

Smith was standing not far from the dig site as investigators and others worked with shovels, backhoes and dump trucks.

“We have recovered items at this time, yes,” he said. “But it is nothing that we’re going to talk about as positive identification of her.”

He said the piles of dirt being removed from the site and dragged on a tarp to a clearing would be thoroughly searched again “for anything that shows tells us Ms. Fournier is here or she is not here.”

Smith said Morris told investigators specifically where to look: a small thicket of trees to the left of the main sand-pit area.

But the work was harder than officers first thought because the landowner, Bryan Duquette, had “inadvertently placed a significant amount of dirt” over the exact spot where Morris allegedly put the body.

Canadian news sources, quoting law-enforcement officials in Quebec, said Morris confessed to killing Fournier and reported that during a search of his home, police “put their hands on hardware containing elements linked to the disappearance.”

The Quebec authorities told media there that Fournier was a nude dancer and was last seen “at a bar in Saint-Mathieu de La Prairie when she climbed aboard a truck heading toward the United States.”

Smith said Morris had been questioned years earlier about Fournier’s disappearance.

According to the North American Missing Persons Network, Fournier was 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 123 pounds. She had green eyes; long, blonde hair with red streaks; and several tattoos. She was last seen wearing jeans, a long-sleeved pullover and sandals.

The last time she was seen she was with a Caucasian man who was described as about 35, 6 feet tall and 280 pounds, with a prominent nose, shaved head and dark goatee.

The man was driving a truck with a tank trailer and spoke English.

Morris was remembered Friday by his High School principal as “a great kid,” not someone who would be involved in murder and child pornography.

“If it’s true, the allegations they are making, I would be in disbelief,” said Rick Spataro, who was principal of Franklin Academy High School when Morris graduated in 1996.

He said he was “very surprised and disappointed” when he learned of Morris’s arrest for a crime related to child pornography.

“He was very polite, and he was always respectful. And he had a great sense of humor.

“When I would run into him on the street, I’d talk to him and he would tell me about being a truck driver.”

E-mail Denise A. Raymo at:

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