HOUSTON – The parents of slain Instagram model Janae Gagnier, known to her 2.6 million followers as “Mercedes Morr,” said Tuesday she was killed by a stalker.
“She’s very cautious about her surroundings,” mom Jeanetta Grover said. “Unfortunately, someone basically was stalking, and killed my baby.”
Police said the suspect, Kevin Accorto, is from Florida and did not know Gagnier. His brief criminal record consisted of minor traffic violations.
“She was special,” Grover said. “She was a person, and we miss her a lot.”
On Sunday afternoon, Gagnier’s father Mark visited her apartment in Richmond after trying in vain to reach her on the phone. When no one answered the door, he kicked it in.
“I walk in and Janae’s on the floor, and her clothes are all torn up and stuff,” he said. “I go upstairs, guy upstairs with a knife in him, still alive.”
“I just couldn’t do nothing but stand there and call the police,” he added. “That’s the true story and that’s what I want out.”
The Medical Examiner’s office determined Janae Gagnier died by “strangulation and traumatic concussion” and Accorto of “suicide by multiple sharp force trauma.”
Police called what happened a murder-suicide.
“He murdered her and then he killed himself,” Grover said. “That’s what needs to be known.”
Funeral arrangements are in the works, the family said.