Alicia MooreA body found in a furniture truck in Van Zandt County, Texas has been confirmed to be missing 16-year-old Alicia Chanta Moore, who was last seen getting off the school bus just a block away from her home on November 2. Her family was immediately suspicious because they described the girl as shy and a homebody, so the possibilities of the typical teen runaway or wandering off with a friend scenarios were slim.

Still, despite being a minor and the red flag-raising circumstances around her disappearance, no Amber Alert was ever issued to find her. Now her relatives are rightfully questioning how standard procedure failed Alicia. Even more upsetting: authorities have discovered that the victim had also been sexually abused well before her death. They’re investigating a possible connection between her assault and her death. All I keep thinking is that poor baby.

Police have now arrested one man and questioned another in the case. But months before she was murdered, Alicia’s mother reported a 49-year-old man, Terry Dwayne Ramsire, to authorities. He was subsequently charged with sexual assault of a child and is being held on $70,000 bond, but he was locked up at the time of Alicia’s disappearance and murder.

Whether there is a connection between the incidents remains to be seen, but the family is now pleading with anyone who may have information and begging the person actually responsible to come forward and give them some peace.

They have also publicly questioned police’s investment in finding Alicia before she was discovered dead in the back of that vehicle. Officers handling the case maintain that it’s hard to issue an Amber Alert for a 16-year-old because there are so many factors that may lead to the disappearance of someone that age.

Maybe they dropped the ball in alerting the public, maybe they didn’t. But even though the investigation probably could’ve been handled better and may be a learning experience for authorities, the focus should be on finding the brazen sludge who would abduct a child a block away from her home and leave her dead in the back of a truck like a piece of gutter trash.

In the meantime, may Alicia rest in peace.

Do you think an Amber Alert should have been issued for Alicia Moore?

Would it have made a difference?