By BRAD KELLAR
Alicia Chanta Moore, 16, of Greenville, was murdered and her body was left in a box along the side of a highway in Van Zandt County.
Few additional details concerning Moore’s death were revealed during a Wednesday afternoon press conference concerning the case, conducted at the Greenville Police Department.
Police Chief Dan Busken said Moore’s disappearance never rose to the level of requiring the issuance of an Amber Alert.
“At no time during the course of this investigation were those criteria met,” Busken said, noting specifically that Moore was forcibly taken. “Even up until now we cannot say for certain that Alicia was abducted.”
The police department confirmed earlier in the day that the body of an African American female, found Tuesday by a road crew along Farm Road 47 near Wills Point, had been positively identified as Moore.
Busken said the identification came from a preliminary autopsy by the medical examiner’s office in Dallas County.
“The cause of death is still pending,” Busken said, noting there was “trauma” reported to Moore’s body. “This is considered a homicide investigation.”
Greenville Independent School District Superintendent Don Jefferies said after he was notified of Moore’s disappearance, he contacted teachers, administrators the district’s technology director, who attempted to trace Moore’s iPad she was given at the start of the school year with no success.
“She was not able to track it electronically,” Jefferies said. It was unclear Wednesday whether the iPad itself had been recovered.
Jefferies added the driver of Moore’s bus also was contacted and said Moore was dropped off about a half-block from her home.
“The bus driver in this case didn’t see anything,” Jefferies said. “She (Moore) got off and headed in that direction.”
Jefferies also said there was no evidence of any predators in the school district.
Busken said the investigation began slowly due to a lack of information being given to the police department.
“We have to gather information before we can release information,” Busken said. “Early on, we had a very limited amount of information that we had to deal with.”
Busken indicated he could not specifically say whether Moore had initially been classified as a runway.
“A lot of times those two terms are synonymous in our classifications,” Busken explained. “I know some of the initial information we received in the police report indicated this may have been something that happened before. We’re still investigating that and trying to come up with answers.”
Busken also said some of the information which had been reported in the media concerning the case had been inaccurate.
“There is a box that’s associated with this investigation,” Busken said. “I’m not at liberty to give a lot of details about that, but that is certainly something that we are looking at and will be a key point of our investigation.
Busken said representatives with the Greenville Police Department is working alongside the Hunt County District Attorney, Van Zandt County District Attorney, Texas Rangers and the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office in conducting the investigation.
“We’ve got a lot of leads to track down,” Busken said. “No determination has been made as of yet as to where specifically any of the crimes associated with this may have been committed.”
Busken also stressed that “many, many” tips have come in from the public.
“We’re hoping those tips continue to come in. We are only as good as our most recent information, and it’s even more evident in a case like this,” Busken said. “We must have cooperation from the community in order for us to do our jobs. Hopefully we will have more information to release fairly soon.”
Anyone with information regarding the situation is being asked to call the Greenville Police Department at 903-457-2900.