Death of Teen Found in Trunk a Homicide: Police

Community remembers Greenville teen at candlelight vigil

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Nov 8, 2012  |  Updated 10:04 AM CDT
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Loved ones and Greenville residents remember Moore during a candlelight vigil at the bus stop where she was last seen as questions are raised about how police handled her disappearance.

Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News

Loved ones and Greenville residents remember Moore during a candlelight vigil at the bus stop where she was last seen as questions are raised about how police handled her disappearance.

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Quest for Answers in Death of Alicia Moore

16-year-old Alicia Moore's body was found in a trunk by the side of the road in Van Zandt County Tuesday, her family wants to know why when she was reported missing on Friday investigators didn't put information out about her until Monday.

Body Found in Trunk on Side of Highway

A construction worker found a body inside a trunk off the side of Farm-to-Market 47 near the town of Wills Point.
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The Dallas medical examiner has identified the body discovered in a trunk in Van Zandt County on Tuesday as a missing Greenville teenager.

Greenville Police Chief Dan Busken said during a news conference Wednesday that 16-year-old Alicia Chanta Moore sustained trauma. Greenville police, Texas Rangers and the Van Zandt Sheriff's Office is investigating her death as a homicide, he said.

Loved ones and Greenville residents remembered Moore during a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the bus stop where she was last seen and students plan to wear purple to school Friday in memory of the girl.

Busken said the medical examiner has not yet ruled on Moore's cause of death. Further details were not disclosed, and no motive or suspect was revealed.

Moore was last seen getting off her school bus at about 3:30 p.m. Friday. Cameras onboard the bus recorded Moore getting on at the high school and exiting at a bus stop near the corner of Bourland and Walnut streets -- about a block from her home.

What happened to Moore after she exited the bus is a mystery.  Moore's family notified police of her disappearance Friday evening.

Question are being raised about how police handled her disappearance. Police initially treated the case as a potential runway.

"I've been the one trying to get the word out -- fliers and stuff," said her aunt, Jessica Byrd. "They (police) didn't really fully get involved until Monday."

Busken said an Amber Alert was not issued because none of the circumstances related to Moore's disappearance met the criteria necessary to issue the alert -- including knowing for certain at the time that she was abducted.

"Early on, we had a very limited amount of information that we had to deal with," he said. "As we went throughout this weekend, we compiled more information."

Greenville Independent School District Superintendent Don Jefferies said the school learned Moore was missing on Saturday.  It attempted to trace her school-issued iPad but determined it had been reset and its tracking was disabled.

At about noon on Tuesday, a construction worker found Moore's body in a trunk that had been dumped along Farm-to-Market 47 near a bridge railing four miles north of Wills Point.

"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. ... We must have cooperation from the community to do our jobs."

Greenville ISD said counselors would be on hand to comfort students.

Moore was last seen wearing a white shirt, black undershirt, green jacket, pink headband and black glasses. She was carrying a black backpack and was also wearing earrings and a necklace. She was 5 feet 1 inches tall and weighed 97 lbs.

Anyone with information on her disappearance is asked to call the Greenville Police Department at 903-457-2900 or Crime Stoppers at 903-457-2929.

NBC 5's Greg Janda, Randy McIlwain and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

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