The uncle of a teenager who was found dead after she disappeared when she got off a school bus has been charged with capital murder.
Michael Moore, 57, was arrested late Monday at his Grand Prairie residence and taken to the Van Zandt County jail for the murder of Alicia Moore, 16. Michael Moore is being held on a bond of $10 million.
Investigators took DNA samples from Moore family members but would not divulge how they narrowed the suspect search to Michael Moore. He lived with his 86-year-old father in Grand Prairie for the last year.
"He is the nicest guy. He takes care of his yard, working, cleaning everything," said Diane Garland who was a neighbor of Moore's father.
On Monday night, those neighbors watched Van Zandt County investigators take pictures inside the Grand Prairie house. They collected evidence including a car then arrested Moore without incident.
"I know this is not the outcome that they were expecting, I just want our community and the community around Greenville to know we continue to hurt for that family," said Van Zandt County Sheriff Michael Lindsey.
While news of the arrest stunned the people of Greenville, it also came as a relief to those who still worried a killer was on the loose.
Greenville sophomore Alicia Moore was last seen alive in November 2012 near her home getting off a school bus. Four days later, the Greenville teenager was found murdered inside a trunk alongside a road 40 miles away in Wills Point.
Family members had been critical of police for not issuing an Amber Alert after the disappearance. Greenville police said the incident didn't match the criteria needed.
Now, the family is stunned one of their own is the alleged killer.
"We're not answering any questions or giving out any interviews," said Jennifer Byrd, Alicia's aunt. "Maybe in a day or two. We just want a little time, since we are overcoming the shocking news that we had late last night."
School superintendent Don Jefferies is part of the community that rallied to support Alicia Moore's family. He brought flowers, teddy bears and prayers to the intersection where she got off a school bus and was last seen.
The arrest is a relief for Jefferies.
"It gives us peace of mind that you've got a perpetrator out there - alleged perpetrator - who has been caught," Jefferies said. "We're excited they've got a suspect, hope they've got the guilty party so this family and community can have some rest from that."
Longtime high school friend Heather Spurgin says Alicia never mentioned her uncle Michael. Heather never met him.
"The fact that it was by a family member, someone she trusted and she loved that makes it that much worse," said Spurgin. "Not only did they lose her but they also lost another family member because he did this to her and now he has to pay for what he did."
The Van Zandt County sheriff says Michael Moore is the only suspect. Investigators know the cause of death but aren't releasing it.
KDFW FOX 4
Main Station Directory:
Didn't find what you were looking for?