Greenville teen's family questions police response



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Posted on November 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 2:09 AM

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VAN ZANDT COUNTY — A body found in a storage-box-style trunk Tuesday along FM 47 near wills Point has been identified as a 16-year-old teen reported missing by her family Friday in Greenville.

Greenville police confirmed Tuesday the body was an African-American female. On Wednesday morning, the body was identified as Alicia Chanta Moore, who was last seen as she exited a school bus Friday afternoon in Greenville. 

Police did not issue a picture of the teen until Monday afternoon, the day before her body was found. 

"Early on, we had only limited time and only a certain amount of information that we had to deal with," said Greenville Police Chief Daniel Busken. "Even, until now, we aren't sure Alicia was abducted." 

The body was discovered by construction workers Tuesday morning, four miles north of Wills Point. According to Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett, the remains had not been there long.

The Texas Rangers, the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, the Greenville Police Department, the Hunt County District Attorney and the Van Zandt County District Attorney are conducting a joint investigation.

News 8 spoke to Moore's family Tuesday afternoon and they said Greenville police asked for the girl's dental records Tuesday.

"It was just a shock," said Jessica Byrd, Alicia Moore's aunt. "We broke down a little bit, but we're holding on, trying to wait for answers."

The family showed up to an afternoon news conference at the Greenville Police Department on Wendesday. They watched as Chief Busken tried to explain why his department took three days to issue any kind of a missing person's alert.

The chief says no Amber Alert was issued because the department was not sure Alicia had left on her own accord or if she was kidnapped. In order to issue an alert, the department must know the victim was taken without consent and is in danger. 

Nevertheless, the family is upset about the police response.

"If they had stepped it up and given us support and given information to other counties, I feel my niece would be here today," said Byrd. "If somebody is missing and the family is crying, then you need to step it up." 

Her family described Alicia as shy and quiet. She usually got off the bus around 3:25 p.m. Security cameras on board the bus captured Alicia exiting the bus on Friday, but she never made it home.

Protesters showed up outside the police department Wednesday to support the family. They, too, believe more could have been done to prevent her death.