Buckner Indicted in Ashleigh Moore Murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/12/07

Buckner Indicted in Ashleigh Moore Murder

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Ashleigh Moore Ashleigh Moore
Bobby Buckner, Chatham County booking photo. Bobby Buckner, Chatham County booking photo.

SAVANNAH, GA--A Chatham County grand jury has indicted convicted sex offender Bobby Buckner for the 2003 abduction and murder of a 12-year-old girl.

Ashleigh Moore was found dead near the Marriott Hotel along the Savannah River in May 2003. Today the grand jury indicted Buckner on charges of murder by strangulation, kidnapping with bodily injury and child molestation.

Many in the community wondered if Buckner would ever be charged and face a jury. Investigators said he's been the key suspect since day one.

The lead investigator, Savannah-Chatham police Sgt. Armando Tamargo said there's a reason it has taken so long to present this case. "It was a complex case, we still had stuff we needed to investigate," Tamargo said.

There was a lot of evidence to process. Police didn't find Ashleigh's body until a month after she disappeared. "Now we are confident that everything we needed to do has been done so we presented it to the grand jury," Tamargo said.

He said this is the biggest case he's ever worked and one he just couldn't let go.

"And I think that's evident in the work that was put into it by everybody involved, not just the police department, the community, my fellow officers, everybody," said Tamargo. "This case never went away."

So many people got personally involved in this case. Volunteers and Ashleigh's schoolmates from DeRenne Middle School put up flyers and coordinated searches for Ashleigh.

"It was overwhelming, the amount of help and support we got from the community trying to help us locate this little girl," Tamargo said.

Her friends and family know she's now resting in peace. Police said maybe now justice will be served.

Buckner is currently serving a ten year sentence for molesting three other little girls. He plead guilty to those charges in September 2006.

Investigators said that's another reason why they felt there was no rush to indict Buckner. With these new charges he is now facing life in prison.

For some background on the case from the wtoc.com archives, follow the links below:

05/15/03
Ashleigh Moore Confirmed Dead

05/15/03
Ashleigh Moore's Classmates Hear the News

05/15/03
Grieving for Ashleigh

05/16/03
Counselors Help Ashleigh Moore's Classmates

05/23/03
Ashleigh Moore Memorial

05/24/03
Savannah Says Goodbye to Ashleigh

06/19/03
Police Say They're Making Progress in Ashleigh Moore Case

08/04/03
Buckner Probation Hearing Delayed

10/06/03
New Allegations Against Buckner

04/15/04
Buckner Found Guilty of Probation Violation

04/16/04
Ashleigh Moore Murder Case Still Active

11/03/04
Buckner Indicted on 21 Counts

05/31/05
Buckner Back in Court

09/20/2006
Buckner Pleads Guilty to Molesting Young Girls

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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