PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Kathleen Moore called her mother to wish her happy birthday on Sunday Nov. 28.
“And I was telling her I love her,” Karyn Moore recalled. “And she’s like, ‘mom, I’m 34’ and I said I don’t care if you’d be 50 years old, you’re still my baby and always will be.”
That phone call turned out to be final time the mother and daughter would speak with each other.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office called Karyn Monday afternoon to let her family know the missing person’s case had become a homicide investigation. Kathleen’s on-and-off again boyfriend Collin Knapp had just been arrested and booked into jail for a second-degree murder charge.
After her daughter disappeared in the early morning hours of Nov. 29, Karyn said she feared the worst.
“I had that gut feeling,” she said. “It’s like a mother’s instinct and you just know when you can’t sense your child’s spirit.”
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said 30-year-old Knapp was not cooperating with the search to find Kathleen’s body.
“Right now, you have an opportunity to do something positive when you have done so much evil,” Nocco said at the Monday night news conference. “Please share with us where Kathleen is.”
After leaving a friend’s home with in Largo with Knapp, deputies said no one saw or heard from Kathleen since the early morning hours of Nov. 29.
Nocco said investigators later learned Knapp put clothing in a dumpster at Harold Seltzer Steakhouse in Port Richey, where he works. After bringing that dumpster to the county landfill, deputies found his bloodstained clothing. It was sent to an FDLE forensic lab.
“So yes, there was blood that was identified as (Kathleen’s) on our suspect’s pants, however there is lots of blood that was located during this investigation,” Major Crimes Sgt. Michael Rosa said.
Deputies said blood and DNA evidence, along with inconsistent statements by Knapp, led to probable cause for his arrest.
The Polk Sheriff’s Office shared photos of Knapp’s vehicles Monday night as investigators continued seeking tips from the public to help them locate Moore’s body. The cars are a black 2006 Cadillac CT6 with Florida tag Z917XC and a black 2004 Chevrolet Silverado with bed cover with a Florida tag QXLT69.
“Anyone that has information in this case should call 727-847-8102, option 7. If anyone has seen these pictured cars between Monday, Nov. 29 at approx. midnight and afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 30, please contact us,” a release from the sheriff’s office said.
“The most important reason to find the body is for the family,” Sgt. Rosa said.
He added there have been homicide cases in which the victim’s remains were never located.
Moore was born in Detroit, but grew up with her five siblings in the St. Petersburg area, according to family. She was a beloved bartender and waitress at the Whiskey Wings Bar and Grill in St. Pete. She was also taking classes in hopes of becoming a nurse, her mother said.
“I just want to know why, why didn’t he just let her go, why couldn’t he just walk away,” Karyn Moore said.
She told 8 On Your Side she wants her daughter to be remembered for her bubbly and outgoing personality.
“I truly believe that we all in life have to take a journey and I just wish that Kathleen’s journey didn’t stop where it did,” she said.
Now, this heartbroken mother is praying deputies can find her daughter’s body soon.
“I’m really gonna miss her really much,” Karyn said. “I love her with all my heart.”