GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The man accused of killing a woman from Biloxi in Mobile is now in jail. On Monday, Steve Mason was arrested for the 2015 murder of Ke'Lei Morris.
"She was a genuine, loving person and she had a heart for people," said Ke'Lei's friend Nacquel Bennett told WLOX News Now. "She wanted to make a real difference in the world."
Friends since elementary school, there wasn't much Nacquel didn't know about Ke'Lei.
"We were like sisters and we shared everything together," she said.
On the night he was taken into custody, Mason said that although he knew Ke'Lei, he was not her boyfriend. Nacquel says Ke'Lei didn't know Mason very long, and soon broke off their relationship.
"She just didn't see it becoming a serious relationship and she didn't want to continue anything with him," Nacquel said.
Before her death, Ke'Lei was working as a respiratory therapist in Mobile. Nacquel says she never met Mason. As far as she knew, Ke'Lei hadn't talked with him in the weeks before she was shot in the head.
"She had ended contact with him and hadn't heard from him," Bennett said.
It is the second time Mason is facing murder charges. He was convicted of killing a woman in 2002, but only served three years in prison after being granted youthful offender status.
Nacquel was interviewed by police, and she told them as much as she knew about Mason.
"He was the only person that it could possibly be," Bennett said. "Nobody else I know what do anything like that, nobody that knew her would."
Even though the search for a suspect has taken two years, Nacquel knows it will take time for justice to be served.
"I think there's a lot more ahead and it's going to be difficult going through that process," said Nacquel.
Though she continues to miss her friend, Nacquel is at peace with whatever lies ahead.
"God has definitely comforted me, and has brought me peace with it," said Nacquel. "I know....He's the ultimate judge."
Mason is being held in a Mobile jail on no bond. Investigators have not released the evidence that led to his arrest.