Police Credit Neighbors For Murder Arrests - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/24/05

Police Credit Neighbors For Murder Arrests

Biloxi police say a burglary at Iva Jewel Moore's home on DeBuys Road led to the brutal stabbing death of the 93-year-old woman.

Two teenagers from Tennessee and a man from Alabama are charged in the capital murder case.

Moore was stabbed to death inside her home sometime early Wednesday morning. 19-year-olds Matthew Craig McKamey and Joshua Ryan Teague, both from Clinton, Tennessee, are charged with capital murder.

A third suspect, 27-year-old Clyde Irvin Gunter, of Louisville, Alabama is charged with accessory after the fact of capital murder.

Biloxi police say the case was solved quickly, thanks to the "outstanding cooperation" of neighbors.

Police believe Iva Jewel Moore's home was targeted for burglary by two of the suspects who cased her neighborhood. Accurate information from the victim's neighbors was critical in catching those believed responsible.

Familiar yellow crime scene tape offers the only evidence that something horrible happened inside the house at 236 DeBuys Road.

"Basically, what has happened here is you had two people break into the house for burglary purposes. And while they were in there, they ended up killing the lady," said police investigator, Rick Kirk.

Police officers who quickly canvassed the neighborhood found the information they were looking for.

"Outstanding cooperation from the people that live around that area and around the lady. They were able to give us some descriptions of some people they had seen in the area the night before," said Kirk.

Investigators got solid leads about the two from Tennessee. Matthew McKamey and Joshua Teague arrived in Biloxi late last week and spend several nights at a small motel just down the street from the murder scene.

Police say just hours before the murder, the two Tennessee suspects went door to door in the neighborhood, apparently looking for a home that might provide an easy target to burglarize.

Kelly Daniel's family lives right next door to the victim. The two never knocked on her door, but the whole episode is awfully upsetting.

"I was just concerned for my daughter. I have an infant here. And the first thing I thought of was to either get a weapon or secure my home with a security system or something. We were all just worried," said Daniel.

Friends of Iva Jewel Moore describe her with words like beautiful and sweet. She attended Handsboro United Methodist Church for many years.

"She was just a beautiful person. Salt of the earth. And we're horrified. And greatly saddened. And all experiencing some anger along with it," said pastor Rachel Benefield.

"She loved her church. And she loved the Lord. And I was thinking last night at prayer service we had, that she was an angel on earth and now she's an angel in heaven," said friend of the victim, Betty Jubinville.

The autopsy showed the elderly victim was stabbed to death in the neck.

Along with capital murder, suspect Joshua Teague is also charged with grand larceny. Police arrested him following a traffic stop in a stolen car.

By Steve Phillips

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