Greenville, TX – The body found in a trunk on the side of a Texas highway has been identified as Alicia Moore, the 16-year-old who disappeared after getting off her school bus last week.
Surveillance camera footage captured Moore as she exited her school bus at 3:25 p.m. Friday, one block from her home. Her family contacted police that night, but they said that Moore was considered a runaway and to wait until Monday. An Amber Alert was (rightfully) not issued, as it did not fit the criteria, and a press release would not be issued about Moore until Monday.
With no other recourse, Moore’s family turned to social networks to get the word out and handed out fliers. On Tuesday, a body was discovered 40 miles away inside a furniture trunk alongside a rural stretch of Texas highway. That body would later be identified as Alicia Moore’s. An official cause of death has not been released, but the case is being treated as a homicide.
During a press conference yesterday, Greenville Police Chief Dan Busken said there was trauma to the body. ”We have a lot of work ahead of us with this investigation,” Busken said. “We have received many tips from the community, and we hope those tips continue to come in.” Moore’s aunt pleaded with the person responsible to turn themselves in. ”Do the right thing and turn yourself in. That’s all we ask you to do so we can get some sort of peace from this situation,” Jessica Byrd told The Huffington Post.
Byrd is upset with police, saying they did not do enough to find the teen. They say that they informed them that the teen was bullied at school and did not have many friends. They explained that there was no way she would have went off with someone she didn’t know. “She is very shy and quiet,” said Byrd. “Either someone threatened her to come with them or she was approached by someone she trusted. We just don’t know.”
Police are not saying if Moore’s murder is linked to a recent notice issued to parents by the Greenville Independent School District. The notice was regarding a suspicious Hispanic man in a pickup truck who approached a Greenville Middle School student and asked if they needed a ride home. ”The student reported that the suspect had been waiting on Texas Street in front of the Middle School as though waiting to pick up a child, only he did not pick up a child,” Superintendent Don Jeffries said. After the student refused the ride, the man drove away.
Anyone with information in Moore’s case is asked to contact the Greenville Police Department at 903-457-2900.
Although Moore’s family feel that the police dropped the ball, and I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through right now, I don’t think the police did anything wrong. The Amber Alert system is not designed for these types of cases. It is in place in cases of missing children with evidence of abduction, or that the child is in immediate danger. If one were issued every time a teenager did not come home, it would neuter its effectiveness. In any event, I hope they are able to quickly apprehend the person responsible.
I stated this in the comments, but adding it here. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that nearly 800,000 children younger than 18 are missing each year. That’s an average of 2,185 children reported missing each day. Out of that 800,000, 115 cases are “stereotypical” kidnappings in which a stranger abducts a child and kills them. If police were to spend their resources to create press releases and form search parties every time a teen doesn’t come home, you ‘d need a force bigger than one you could afford to pay.
I’ve been writing these stories for years, and have been accused of being someone suffering from “white guilt” because of my Pretty White Girl comments. But they were never made towards police, they were made towards the media. They are the ones who control how many times you see a missing child’s face in the media, and they only serve public interest. To prove my point, police released a press release about Moore on Monday. It’s now Thursday. How many of you ever heard of Alicia Moore until you read this article? That’s not the police’s fault.Tags: Abduction, Alicia Moore, Crime, Missing Person, Murder, Texas