Ashleigh Moore Murder Case Still Active - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/16/04

Ashleigh Moore Murder Case Still Active

Ashleigh Moore, 1990-2003 Ashleigh Moore, 1990-2003

The last man known to have seen Ashleigh Moore before she disappeared last April will be behind bars for many years to come, but not for her murder. Yesterday, a judge sentenced Bobby Buckner to serve the next 12 years in prison for violating his probation. Buckner was convicted of child molestation in 1996 and was not allowed to be alone with girls under the age of 16.

During yesterday's hearing, several young teenagers admitted on the stand to having consensual sex with Buckner. Some even said he gave them drugs and alcohol. Ashleigh Moore's mother Michelle also took the stand, admitting Buckner had been left alone with her two young daughters.

While the state proved Bobby Buckner was in clear violation of his probation, neither he nor anybody else has been charged with the disappearance and death of Ashleigh Moore.

It's been nearly a year since the disappearance of Ashleigh Moore, and from what police are telling us, they don't see this case closing anytime soon. Time has weathered away the memorial that was left in Ashleigh Moore's honor not far from where her body was found.

Ashleigh's story not only shocked the entire community, the story of this innocent young girl has yet to find an ending. "The first few hours of a homicide investigation is very vital, however, after saying that, it's not always that we make an arrest in the first few hours," said Maj. Willie Lovett of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. "Sometimes years go by."

It's been nearly a year since Ashleigh was reported missing from here home on Weiner Drive, and even though police say this is still an open homicide case, they're confident they have the right suspect. "In this particular case, I think, in my mind, that we have sufficient evidence that would support a charge," said Lovett.

A charge that has yet to be filed against the one man who police think knows a lot more then he was willing to tell. "If you're asking me if I think we have the right person, yes," said Lovett. "Now whether we have the sufficient evidence to get him convicted I don't know, but all arrows seem to point to him at this point."

As Bobby Buckner continues to serve out a 12-year sentence for violating his probation, it gives investigators all the time they need to prove their case. Since there's no statute of limitations on murder cases, the state can file charges whenever they feel their case is strong enough.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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