NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) — Kathleen Moore’s body was found in a wooded area of New Port Richey on Tuesday, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
According to the sheriff’s office, the decomposing body found by someone walking in the Carmel Avenue area around 11:30 a.m. was positively identified as Moore based on her tattoos.
The area where the body was found was the last known location of 34-year-old Moore, who was reported missing last week. The missing person investigation became a homicide investigation Monday night when her boyfriend Collin Knapp was arrested.
“She was about 50 yards northeast of Collin Knapp’s home,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said. “It was a very heavily-brushed area. She was actually covered – you can almost describe, she was definitely covered on purpose to make sure nobody could come upon her.”
Nocco said the break in the case on Tuesday came from the Pasco County community working together with the sheriff’s office.
“Last night we put out a plea for help and they did. At 11:30 this morning, we got the call because citizens were out there helping us,” he said.
Sgt. Michael Rosa with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit said it’s too early in the investigation to determine or release information on how Moore died. The sheriff’s office officially called it a homicide on Monday night when they arrested Knapp, Moore’s on-again, off-again boyfriend.
Moore’s body had not yet been found when he was arrested Monday, but deputies noted that blood evidence found in a county landfill was enough to arrest Knapp. A judge on Tuesday ordered he be held without bond and said new developments in the case made it clear it’s a murder.
Nocco on Tuesday promised to get justice for Moore.
“I wish to God we could bring her back. She’s with God now, she’s with the angels. We pray for her, we pray for her family right now because they’re going through so much,” the sheriff said. “But with that, we will bring her justice. We will bring her family justice.”
The sheriff also had a message for anyone experiencing domestic violence.
“Maybe [Moore’s] sacrifices she went through is to save somebody else,” he said. “If this can save you because you’re in a horrible domestic violence relationship, get out of it. Because if there’s something positive that can come out of her death, it’s that someone else will live.”