Christopher Wray, Director of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, sadly reports the death of Special Agent Melissa Morrow.
Special Agent Morrow, 48, died as a result of brain cancer. Her death is classified as a line-of-duty death because of her exposure to contaminants at the Pentagon during 9/11 and as a first responder in 2013 to a six-alarm fire at a warehouse in Alexandria, Va. The storage facility held evidence from the terrorist plane crash into the Pentagon.
In all, Morrow spent 10 weeks sifting through evidence from the attack.
We mourn with our brothers & sisters in @FBI @FBIWFO @FBIKansasCity & family of Special Agent Melissa Morrow. She died after a battle with cancer that she developed following her assignment to search & recovery efforts at the Pentagon following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. #LODD pic.twitter.com/TwhqWcwyux
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) March 24, 2018
About a year ago, Morrow was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma brain cancer. Her illness was certified by the National Institute of Occupational Health as being a direct result of her exposure to toxins on September 11, 2001 and the weeks and months during her evidence collection assignment.
I thought this couldn’t be happening to me. I eat right, work out incessantly, and have no family history to explain this. Yet, much to my dismay, the diagnosis was accurate.
– Melissa Morrow
FBI Special Agent Melissa Morrow, 48, Has Died. A 9/11 first responder and was exposed to toxins. Morrow is the 11th FBI Agent lost due to such exposures. "I thought this couldn’t be happening to me. I eat right, work out incessantly &have no fam history" https://t.co/QbaM8boTiG pic.twitter.com/fQKACKCIeZ
— Republican Security Council – Keep America Strong (@RSCGOP) March 24, 2018
Morrow was a graduate of both the University of Missouri and its Law School, according to the Republican Security Council Facebook page.
During her career she supervised the Washington Field Office’s child pornography task force, and spoke to the media about the psychological difficulties her agents faced when engaging suspects online, and viewing photos and video of children being abused.
In 2010, she wanted to be closer to her family and was reassigned to the Kansas City office.
According to the site, Morrow wrote the following details:
Approximately two months after my 47th birthday, I started developing massive headaches. Day after day, the headaches worsened. Then the insomnia began, along with changes in my vision.
It was difficult for me to see out of the left corner of my eye. I really knew things were serious when over the 4th of July weekend I took my dogs for a walk in Loose Park. I have walked this park so many times and knew the paths like the back of my hand.
During the walk, I became lost. I knew I was in Loose Park, but I did not know how to leave the park or walk home. So, I kept walking and walking until I eventually found my way home.
The pain became unbearable, and I went to the Emergency Room at St. Luke’s hospital. I knew something was terribly wrong. The on-call physician took a CT scan of my brain, and I heard the words “tumor,” “mass,” and “cancer. I thought this couldn’t be happening to me. I eat right, work out incessantly, and have no family history to explain this. Yet, much to my dismay, the diagnosis was accurate, and my life completely changed at that moment in the ER.
Morrow was assigned to the Kansas City Field Office at the time of her death. She served the FBI for 22 years. Her parents and sister survive her.
Special Agent Melissa Morrow is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Friday, March 23, 2018.