Highland Park fatal stabbing suspect linked to second murder in 2015

Image 1 of 4

A suspected killer turned himself in after escaping police custody early Thursday morning. Now, he's being linked to another murder.

Alleged murderer Joseph Ivan Gray who escaped police custody, has now been captured and was charged Friday with another crime from 2015.  It is a move that has brought one family one step closer to closure.

The body of Korteze Woods was discovered almost two and a half years ago at Meyers and Intervale, found shot to death inside a car.

His mom says she confronted the man suspected of killing her son, and for the first time we are hearing from her.

"Nightmares ... (I) hurt to talk about it," said Norma Woods.

The words stick in her throat. Her pain lies not just with the discovery of Korteze on Dec. 17, 2015, but the long wait to find an alleged killer she suspected.

"It wasn't like it was new to me," she said. "I already had that feeling that he had killed my son. It never went away; it is a mother's instinct."

Korteze's mom says there had been whispers that 37-year-old Joseph Gray did it. Even right after her 30-year-old son was murdered. 

"My kids went to school with him," Norma Woods said. "It was a shock when the rumors came out saying he did it."

FOX 2: "Is there any sense of a motive?"

"No," she said adding that she does not know why Gray would have murdered Korteze. "Don't ask me, I don't know, I am left clueless now."

But clearly he had a reason to run from police - because he did. Highland Park police had picked him up as a person of interest in the stabbing death of a 62-year-old man to death last November.

Gray reportedly faked an illness to get out of police custody and then walked out of the hospital when he went for treatment.
"There is enough blame to go around," said Highland Park Police Chief Chester Logan. "Our job is to assess the blame, who gets the blame."

It led to a massive manhunt which brought Gray back, to not only answer questions about stabbing a man to death but also officially answer for the crime of killing Cortez Woods in 2015.

A man whose family has just been waiting and hoping.
"I hope he gets what he got," said Sunny Woods, sister of Korteze. "He hurt my family, he took away my brother, that was the life. He took him away from me, probably for no reason either."

The sequence of events is obviously problematic for the Woods family. If Gray is guilty of both murders, it is possible had he been caught back in 2015, another man might be alive.

Gray is expected to be arraigned Saturday morning.