Famed DJ Erick Morillo was found dead on Tuesday, just days before he was scheduled to appear in court over sexual assault charges.
According to reports, Florida police officers received a 911 call at 10:42 a.m., and found the 49-year-old — who saw success in the 1990s with the smash hit I Like to Move It — dead in his Miami Beach home. Detectives are in the preliminary stages of the investigation; the cause of death is still unclear, but officials said there were no apparent signs of foul play.
Morillo was arrested in August after being accused of sexual battery on an unidentified woman during an incident that allegedly occurred at his home in December after he and the accuser DJ’ed at a private party. The Colombian-American artist denied the allegations but turned himself into authorities after an examination tested positive for his DNA.
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Per the police report, Morillo and the female DJ went back to his place for drinks after working the private event together with another unidentified woman. The alleged victim told officials that Morillo “made several advances towards her, some sexual in nature, but she refused all of his attempts.”
The accuser claimed that she took an Uber to his home and put on a bathing suit to go swimming when she arrived, but felt uncomfortable after he made the advances and changed back into her regular clothes. She told police that Erick apologized, so she decided to stay at his place and later went to sleep alone somewhere in the house.
But she claimed to have woken up “nude on the bed” with Morillo “standing on the side of the bed also nude.” The victim went on to claim she was in pain after waking up and called 911 to report being raped. She was taken to a rape-treatment facility and had a rape kit done. Police said the results of that kit came back this week positive for Morillo’s DNA.
In a recorded statement, the hitmaker denied raping the woman, but told police that he had sex with the second woman who had also gone back to his house for drinks. The second woman, for her part, told police that she slept on the couch and didn’t see anything.
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Morillo was scheduled for a court hearing on Friday. His family confirmed the star’s passing to People, saying:
“He was well-loved by his family and he had a lot of love to give.”
…We won’t touch that line.
Following the news of his death, several other DJs took to social media to pay tribute to Erick. DJ Yousef tweeted:
“Can’t believe it. Only spoke to him last week… he was troubled, less than perfect but was always amazing to me and helped us get circus going in the early days, and we had many amazing times over the 20 years we were friends. Genuinely gutted. RIP.”
DJ Joseph Capriati wrote:
“Heartbreaking news. No words. Rest In Peace”
DJ Anton Powers shared:
“R.I.P @ErickMorillo such sad news. Mr Subliminal, pretty much single handily changed the game. House Music Royalty and an absolute king on the decks. Will always be a massive honour to have DJed for him at his Subliminal Sessions Arena’s.”
DJ Lölsch added:
“Terrible news. Erick Morillo RIP. A legend has left us.”
Sad to lose a musical mind like that — after a deeply upsetting final few months.
[Image via Rui M Leal/WENN]