Family feels renewed hope for justice in 30-year old cold case murder

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — A woman fails to show up for work, family members come to check on her, and they make a discovery that haunts them for the next 30 years.

We look at why a Fort Wayne family is clinging to new hope that the killer in a cold case homicide from the 1980’s may someday actually pay for the crime.

Loved ones of Luella Moore have made a lot of trips to her gravesite since 1988.

Moore was 32 years old on September 13th of that year.

She worked at Allen County’s BF Goodrich tire plant, but that day she never made it to her job.

“The employer got concerned based on her excellent work record,” said Deputy Chief Garry Hamilton, who supervises the Fort Wayne PD’s homicide division.

He says Moore’s boss phoned family members, and they came to West Wind Apartments on the northwest side to check on her.

Her car was in the parking lot.

“They were able to gain entry into the apartment and discovered Luella down in the bedroom,” Hamilton said.

Reports back then said she was on the bedroom floor in her nightgown– dead from two stab wounds to the chest.

In the lengthy investigation, detectives focused in on a couple of men: both since have been cleared.

Relatives are convinced someone knows who did it.

“We’re a Christian family and we believe you have not because you ask not. Right now, we feel is a great time for us to ask the community to step it up,” said Jermaine Abram, Luella Moore’s nephew.

Another 30-year old murder case in Fort Wayne is giving Moore’s family a fresh sense of hope.

The unexpected arrest of John D. Miller, last month, for the killing of 8-year old April Tinsley, it changed the Moore family’s perspective.

“We felt like, okay, if that could happen for them, then it absolutely can happen for us,” said Kim Barnett-Johnson, Luella Moore’s niece.

Evidence from Luella Moore’s crime scene is being re-examined.

“We were able to submit stuff to state police, actually, with enhanced DNA now, we are hoping we may be able to find something, but there’s no promises,” Detective Hamilton said.

No promises, but still “hope” for closure that has eluded them for so long.

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