Great-Uncle's Arrest Shocks Family of Slain Greenville Teenager

Relatives of a slain Greenville teenager say they never imagined a member of their family would be arrested in her death.

Michael Vincent Moore, 57, was arrested late Monday night in the November killing of 16-year-old Alicia Moore.

Jessica Byrd, Alicia Moore's aunt, said it is hard to believe that her uncle could have killed the teenager he seemed to love so much.

"It's not like he's been a distant uncle, never been there for her," she said. "He's been there since she was little."

Alicia Moore's body was found along a highway in rural Van Zandt County four days after she disappeared on her way home from school on Nov. 2.

Family members said they didn't see Michael Moore during that time.

"He just kept in contact, like I did, with the rest of the family," Byrd said.

"Every time something came up during those days, he would be part of the rotation of the phone calls that I would make," she said.

He was with the teenager's family when they went to view her body before the memorial.

"We all went as a family to go view the body, and he took it really hard," Byrd said.

"You never know about people these days," she said. "They could be smiling, happy; then, you never know what they're doing behind closed doors."

Byrd said that police took DNA from the family in December but that the analysis wasn't complete until April 30.

Police say that Michael Moore's DNA matched DNA on Alicia Moore's body.

Byrd said she is still not convinced her uncle killed her niece. But she said that if he did, he is still a part of the family.

"I love him, and I'm not the one to judge him," she said. "He'll have to deal with the man upstairs for that."

Greenville police and Van Zandt County authorities both declined to comment on the investigation.

Investigators have been tight-lipped about the case and have not released basics such as the cause of death or a possible motive.

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