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Mercedes Morr: Inside Houston OnlyFans Influencer’s Murder

They have been two totally different individuals, Jenae and Mercedes; on that everybody might agree. Mercedes was outgoing, bubbly, the lifetime of the celebration. She’d soar on a desk and karaoke to Ginuwine’s “Stingy” on Instagram Live, or don a sombrero and faux to eat an enormous papier-mache taco for a TikTookay, or educate a photographer to twerk at a photograph shoot. In Houston, the place she’d lived for the previous decade, she couldn’t go to a membership or restaurant with out being completely mobbed, with individuals recognizing her from her work as a video vixen or from her sultry posts on Instagram, the place she’d pose in form-fitting activewear or gyrate to Jazmine Sullivan in a thong bikini.

Jenae was a daddy’s lady who made her father prepare dinner smothered hen for her and her mates and take down her TV every time she moved. Her youthful half-sister London idolized her, and as youngsters she would sit on the handlebars of Jenae’s bike as she rode, the toes of her 4’11” body barely touching the pedals. She’d order 4 totally different appetizers at a time when she went out to eat, so she might take a style of every one. And as flawless as she regarded on Instagram, she’d burst out laughing whereas taking photos, telling her mates to rush up as a result of she couldn’t suck in her intestine any longer. “Girl, I’m over it. Let’s go take a shot,” she’d say.

“Mercedes was more the fun party person. Everyone wanted to be around her. Perfect — makeup, hair perfect. Just beautiful,” says her good friend and supervisor Monica Jets. “Janae got one eyelash on, curled up in bed with a bonnet on her head. That was her element.”

As Mercedes Morr — the voluptuous, smooth-skinned, lush-haired mannequin who partied with Drake and had manufacturers like FashionNova sponsor her on Instagram — 33-year-old Jenae Gagnier had greater than two million followers who breathlessly adopted her each transfer. “I can only imagine what a man could fantasize about Mercedes Morr because of her Instagram,” says Stefania Okolie, the reporter who broke the story of Morr’s homicide on ABC 13 Eyewitness News. Most individuals solely realized her actual title after one among her followers grew to become so obsessed along with her that he violently took her life, leaving YouTubers breathlessly speculating about her killer’s true motives and the influencer ecosystem shaken. “It’s a super scary reality that this could happen to any of us,” says Jets, who has tons of of 1000’s of followers and manages different Instagram fashions as properly. “And now it has.”

Jenae along with her mom, Jeanetta Grover.

Courtesy of Jeanetta Grover

To hear her father Mark Gagnier inform it, Morr at all times had an entrepreneurial streak. He and his ex-wife, Jeanetta Grover, met when he was a 22-year-old non-public simply out of primary coaching in El Paso and Grover, additionally a navy child, was simply 19; that they had Mercedes just some months after they wed, then moved again to the Los Angeles space to stay with Mark’s household and handle his restaurant, splitting up shortly thereafter. Mercedes was a girly lady, fastidious about her personal look and laser-focused on business at an early age. At simply 12 years previous, she and her father’s girlfriend’s daughters would make $60 a pop utilizing their storage as an impromptu hair styling studio to braid hair. “She always loved fashion, and she always loved money,” Mark says.

As a young person, Jenae was vivid however aimless, hanging out on the Wal-Mart parking storage along with her mates and ping-ponging between her father’s house in California and her mom’s in Texas whereas they struggled to self-discipline her. As a young person, Jenae would incessantly discuss how a lot she couldn’t wait to maneuver out of the home, so on her 18th birthday, her father purchased her baggage, inflicting her to burst into tears, one thing they’d joke about later in her life. Jenae additionally went to a number of excessive faculties, and would sometimes get into fights with different younger girls: “I guess there was jealousy,” Gagnier says. “I’d always hear little stories about ‘these girls at Magic Mountain did this or did that.’” Jenae’s sister London says these altercations have been hardly ever prompted by something Jenae mentioned or did: “a lot of the times, it really was because she was such a pretty girl.”

After graduating from highschool, Jenae briefly enrolled in class to coach to change into a dental assistant, however ended up transferring to Las Vegas with a boyfriend. It was there the place she started dancing professionally at strip golf equipment utilizing the title Mercedes Morr, with “Mercedes” meaning to connote luxurious and “morr” a reference to the truth that “she always wanted more,” her mom Jeanetta says. At first, her mother and father didn’t approve of her choice to begin dancing; London remembers that when Jenae first instructed her what she was doing in Vegas, she was fearful of her being upset along with her or judging her. But at a sure level, her success was robust to argue with. “She was making so much money it was disgusting,” says Mark, who says she made $4,000 to $5,000 each weekend. “And you know, when you’re 18, 19, and you have that kind of money, life is just one big party to you.” To pay for dinners, she’d take out a duffel bag and pay for $150 or $200 payments all in ones.

For dancing, Mercedes was a way to an finish, a technique to pay the payments earlier than she amassed a following to change into an influencer full-time. But it additionally helped her community and build out her super following. “All of the girls who are the top girls on Instagram, they all started out at the club,” says Marquis Trill, a content material creator and influencer who did an interview with Mercedes after her first skilled picture shoot again in 2013. It was via her time dancing in Houston, which she finally made her house base, the place she met  celebrities like Offset and Drake, who devoted his album Certified Lover Boy to her. London says that when she went out with Jenae in Miami in 2019, they ended up on the strip membership Toosie’s in Drake’s non-public part, the place he gave them stacks of money and allow them to order no matter bottles they needed. (Drake’s group didn’t reply to a request for remark.)

“I think the reason why so many people loved her in the industry was the fact that they met her and she didn’t treat them any different. She would give them attitude if need be and she didn’t gas them up because it was Drake, because it was Travis Scott, because it was Offset,” London says. “She didn’t care about any of that.

Though she’d proceed to bounce on and off for years, Jenae finally transitioned full-time to modeling and making personal appearances. She had plans to roll out a leggings line and a hair extensions line; on the time of her dying, she was well-known within the Houston space as a Black feminine entrepreneur and was on the motivational speech circuit. Despite her huge success on social media, she was snug in Houston and had no need to maneuver out of the town. “Black entertainment in the trap, in the hood, you can only do so much until somebody comes along and says, ‘Hey, I wanna manage you,’ maybe a white manager. The big industry management companies after you did all the hard work and they see millions of followers. But you gotta change your style and change everything up, and you gotta work with people you don’t know,” Trill says. “She was probably stacking her money and was happy where she was at.”

Right earlier than she died, Mercedes was about to maneuver into a brand new home within the Houston space along with her boyfriend, who lived in Alabama; Jets remembers her FaceTiming him whereas they have been taking a tour of the home. It was the primary time, her sister says, that she’d began speaking about getting married and having youngsters. “A lot of times her relationships didn’t work out because they didn’t accept her,” London says. “They liked her. They liked her name and what came with her, but they couldn’t understand her fame and that at the time she was still stripping, and they wanted to tell her to stop. She didn’t like to be controlled. But [her last boyfriend] really accepted her for her.”

At the time of her dying, Mercedes “was really starting to put pen to paper and do some things,” her father says. The final time he spoke to his daughter was August seventeenth, when she texted to inform him she would wish him to stick with her for a couple of days after she moved into her new home, as a result of her boyfriend wouldn’t be down there but and she or he was scared to be alone. She by no means ended up transferring.

Over the years, Mercedes would sometimes must cope with safety issues. A number of years in the past, Mark says, when she was residing in New Orleans, one among her followers doxxed her and posted her handle on Instagram, which prompted her to maneuver to a brand new condo in Houston. “These girls have these huge followings. They’re really celebrities,” says Monica Jets, who says she inspired Mercedes to maneuver right into a high-rise moderately than a home out of safety issues. “But they don’t have the backing of a celebrity as far as security and all of that stuff.” Once, Monica even took her and one other mannequin to go taking pictures to study self-defense, however Mercedes didn’t prefer it; she’d simply cover her ears and soar every time the gun went off.

As a part of her normal contract for personal appearances, Mercedes did require safety to accompany her to golf equipment; she had additionally moved to a gated neighborhood on the outskirts of Houston, the Cortland Sugarland residences in Richmond, Texas. But Mark says Mercedes was largely unbothered by trolling feedback and harassment on social media, seeing it as half and parcel along with her life as a public determine. “She was very paranoid. Everything scares her, from being sick to getting a cut,” London says. “If she felt like she was in fear of her life, someone would have known about it.” Mercedes tried to take precautionary measures by posting pictures from locations aside from her house, or posting solely after she left a given location, however like many content material creators, she wasn’t at all times even handed in that regard; even on her Instagram feed now, her condo door is seen within the background of her pictures, although she blurred out the handle.

“As time goes on, you’ve been doing this for five, 10 years, you kinda get comfortable,” says Trill. “You kinda think nothing could happen to you. But you slip up. You’re human. Maybe you forget to lock the doors, you’re on FaceTime and someone can see the restaurant behind you.”

It’s nonetheless unclear how, precisely, Mercedes’ killer discovered her, or how he entered the home; the Richmond Police Investigation didn’t reply to repeated requests for remark, citing the continued investigation. But Mark Gagnier says that on August twenty ninth, he had simply come again from a fishing journey in Key West when he obtained a frantic telephone name from his daughter London. London mentioned that Mercedes’ mates had contacted her as a result of they hadn’t heard from her and she or he hadn’t up to date her Instagram tales in a couple of days; uncommon for somebody who made a residing from her strong on-line presence. The final time they’d talked was on Thursday evening, when Mercedes had FaceTimed her on the best way again from a pool celebration the NBA participant James Harden had thrown. With this grieving course of, I’ve the posh of grieving somewhat bit higher than loads of different individuals do,” she says. “Because I got to tell her I love her and I got to see her face before everything.”

At first, Mark assumed she was sleeping late from an evening out and simply wasn’t answering her telephone, which had occurred a couple of instances earlier than. Then, after arriving at her home together with his girlfriend that afternoon, he noticed her BMW in her storage. “That’s why I kicked the door down,” he mentioned.

When Mark opened the door, he discovered Mercedes on the backside of her staircase, curled up in a ball. At first he thought there had been an accident and that she had fallen, due to the best way her leg was snarled beneath her. Then he seen Mercedes was solely half-clothed, and requested his girlfriend to get her one thing to cover her up. When she went upstairs, he says, she discovered 34-year-old Kevin Accorto from Wellington, Florida, mendacity by Mercedes’ mattress, a knife caught in his chest. “By the looks of the apartment, he had cut himself and bled all over the apartment for two days,” Mark says. “There was blood everywhere — in the kitchen, the bathroom, freezer. Droplets, puddles, droplets, puddles.”

Jenae with her father, Mark, and sister, London. mercedes morr

Jenae along with her father, Mark, and sister, London.

London Gagnier

Mark says he was nonetheless respiratory after they arrived, however he can be declared useless shortly after police arrived on the scene. “He was gurgling and jerking and stuff. I screamed, ‘what the fuck did you do?’ And that’s when I saw the writing,” he says. During his time in the home, Accorto had scrawled varied messages in Mercedes’ lipstick on the partitions: “Janae led me to think she cared about me but wore another man’s ring,” mentioned one, an obvious reference to an Instagram publish from May the place she confirmed off a hoop her boyfriend had given her. Others mentioned “I should’ve stayed in Florida” and “I wish I’d never met her”; the one which drew essentially the most consideration from on-line commenters was, “I was used for money,” with the “money” dramatically underlined.

As information of her dying circulated, so too did misinformation. Rumors unfold that Morr had died of HIV/AIDS or COVID-19, or that she had been robbed and killed by strippers who had set her up. Perhaps essentially the most widespread rumor, nonetheless, was that Morr had identified her attacker personally, although the police had explicitly acknowledged in any other case. The most typical narrative , propagated amongst YouTube tea (or gossip) channels, was that she had labored as an escort or sugar child and had bilked money out of the unsuitable consumer. One widespread YouTuber summed up the case as a cautionary story about “the dangerous games that women play with these men and think they’re getting over on them, doing the things they do to finesse certain guys.” He labeled the video “dangerous simping,” a time period utilized by many on the web (significantly within the males’s rights neighborhood) to explain males who fall prey to the wiles of gorgeous girls.

To a level, Jenae’s dying was prime fodder for misogynists fostering ire in the direction of girls commoditizing their appears on-line. The proven fact that there was no signal of compelled entry, which normally signifies that the sufferer knew their attacker, additional fueled hypothesis (London believes Accorto attacked Jenae as she was popping out of her automotive from the road into the home, as she by no means parked in her storage). So did the “I was used for money” message from Accorto. “There are women who take money from men in this industry. Do they deserve to be killed for that? Absolutely not,” says Okolie. London believes persons are making assumptions about Mercedes’ relationship with Accorto based mostly on her standing as a former dancer and Instagram mannequin. “People already assume the worst about Instagram models — that they’re gold-diggers, that they’re users,” she says. “It made it easier for people to sell the story, instead of actually getting at the truth.” 

Mercedes’ family and friends members deny that she had a sexual or another type of relationship with Accorto. “She got 2.2 million followers. She gets booked to go to the club. She’s making money. She probably got five different streams of income. She don’t need to fuckin jeopardize herself [by escorting],” says Trill. “And let’s just say if she was, for who she is and how long she’s been in the industry, she’s gonna deal with top tier celebrities — NFL players, celebrities. She’s not gonna drop to that kind of person.” But like many influencers, Morr did cost followers for entry to premium content material on her OnlyFans, and she or he frequently obtained presents and money funds from admirers, a few of which might be delivered to her handle, as her father realized when one among Morr’s mates from Las Vegas instructed him he had despatched her a bean bag chair at Morr’s funeral. This is how her father believes Accorto could have gotten her handle. “If I knew what I know now, nothing should’ve ever come to her address. It should’ve all gone to a P.O. box,” he says.

For these inside Mercedes’ tight-knit Houston influencer neighborhood, the temper has been somber. “There’s not much you can do to protect yourself because you don’t know these people [who follow you],” says Kayla G., Mercedes’ good friend and fellow influencer. “You don’t know what they look like. All you can really do is try not to be alone and watch your surroundings.” Monica Jets, Mercedes’ supervisor, says she is continually having conversations along with her mates and purchasers about safety. “It’s all we’ve been talking about — what can they do to do more, be safer,” she says. “I’m preaching to them now: whenever you make stories on Instagram, save them and post them later. Post them when you’re not there. If you go out of the country, save all your stuff when you get back. I tell them not to be flashy, but of course they are flashy. That’s why they are who they are.” She would love Instagram so as to add a characteristic stopping individuals from importing tales contemporaneously, so influencers received’t must reveal their places and may robotically publish content material later, however she isn’t holding her breath.

Even London has watched her Instagram following explode after her sister’s dying, a macabre byproduct of her movie star. “I don’t really know who’s looking at me now, because I’m Jenae’s sister,” she says. “I have so many more people looking at me now. And I don’t want that attention.” She says she is continually trying over her shoulder and tries to keep away from giant crowds after her sister died.

Gagnier says that since Jenae moved to Houston, they haven’t lived greater than a mile aside; he’s nonetheless kicking himself for not checking in along with her when he got here again from his journey to the Keys. Once, he says, he proposed transferring to Corpus Christi so he might do extra fishing. “She said, ‘Dad, I’m over here because of you. You’re not going nowhere,’” he says. “[We] just wanted her somewhere where she was nice and safe.”

Mercedes’ Instagram continues to be up, along with her following slowly ticking up even in dying — new strangers scrolling via glamor shot after glamor shot, falling in love with a girl they by no means knew and by no means will, some sending her properly needs and others blaming her for having dedicated the egregious sin of being enticing. “It’s not fair women aren’t allowed to be beautiful,” says Jets. “Men get to live their lives and not be preyed upon. It’s sad women don’t have that right.”

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