NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco has confirmed the decomposed body found in New Port Richey is Kathleen Moore.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the body was found by a walker in the area of Carmel Avenue around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and was decomposing. Sheriff Nocco said the body was in a wooded area partially buried by thick brush. It was located about 50 yards northeast of Collin Knapp's home.
Detectives were able to positively identify the body as Moore based on her tattoos.
"We know finding Kathleen was important to her family. It's worse not knowing where she is," said Sheriff Nocco. "I wish to God I could bring her back. She's with God now. She's with the angels."
"I mean it is closure. Now she can come home and we can do what we need to do,” said a longtime friend of Moore, Noelle Custodio.
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On Monday, Moore's "on-again-off-again" boyfriend Collin Knapp, 30, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Moore was last seen on Nov. 29 in New Port Richey.
The sheriff's office said they still don't know when Moore died or how she died. They said investigators are working to answer those questions.
But there's one question that Moore's longtime friends and Sheriff Nocco said only Knapp can answer.
"Why?" said Custodio
"What could she have possibly done?" said another longtime friend of Moore, Samantha Neitz
"She didn't deserve that. Not at all,” said Custodio.
Sheriff Nocco is calling on Knapp to give the family further closure.
"Make it easier on the family. Answer their questions. Answer the why. Because we have the evidence. We have Kathleen now,” he said.
While those questions linger, new court documents released Tuesday shed more light on the events leading up to Knapp's arrest.
A warrant shows that at 10 p.m. on November 28, the night she was last seen alive, Moore texted her roommate about a fight. According to the document, she said she was "being accused of things" and that she wished she could find a nice guy to be with.
"He didn't treat her right. And we would tell her that all the time. You deserve so much better. So much better,” said Custodio
When her roommate texted her back she didn't respond. The PCSO said that was Moore’s last known communication.
"Most likely en route to Pasco was the last communication that we have from our victim,” said Detective Sgt. Michael Rosa.
According to the document, Knapp also gave detectives conflicting stories about that night. He told them he and Moore had got into a fight because he was too drunk to drive her to get food and she stormed off. But then 30 minutes later, he was caught on surveillance video driving to his job at a nearby restaurant. He told investigators "we went there, at 1:30 a.m., to do a 'meat inventory.'"
After searching a dumpster belonging to that restaurant, the sheriff's office said they found a sheet, mattress cover, and comforter with blood on them. They also said they found clothes belonging to Knapp with Moore's blood on it. Her car keys, credit cards and the sweatshirt she was last seen wearing were also found in that dumpster.
As the community mourns, those who loved Moore said they're choosing to remember her at her best.
"Life of the party. Great smile. I mean, she was there for everybody,” said Custodio.
Detectives are now asking the public if they have seen these two vehicles belonging to Knapp, between Monday, Nov. 29 around midnight and the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 30. The cars are a black 2006 Cadillac CT6 with Florida tag Z917XC and a black 2004 Chevrolet Silverado with a bed cover with a Florida tag QXLT69.
The sheriff's office said this is a crucial part of the investigation because Moore was last seen alive, getting into the Cadillac. According to the sheriff’s office, Knapp claims he stopped at a 7-Eleven near his New Port Richey home to buy cigarettes that night and he said Moore was in the car at the time.
But Nocco said Monday, that surveillance video wasn’t “clear enough” to confirm she was in the car at that time.