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Eyewitness may have seen gruesome murder of man found in trash bags

Posted at 6:15 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 18:15:50-05

SUSSEX, Va. – The discovery by a hunter of Kenneth Moore’s body, wrapped in trash bags and left in a shallow ditch, left family and community reeling. Two suspects were recently arrested, more than two weeks after his murder.

The 36-year-old man's body was found Jan. 12, along Route 35, also known as Jerusalem Plank Road. Sussex County Sheriff Earnest Giles said Moore's body had one trash bag around the head, two around the torso and that the legs were partially covered

"He had a backpack, his notebook, computer and he had a nice phone, wallet, credit cards," mom Patti Bass said. "Why did they have to kill him like that?"

Evidence examined at the state lab will be crucial in the Moore murder case, but court documents suggest there was an eyewitness to the disturbing killing.

Sussex Deputies announced Friday the arrests of Erik Obando, Christopher Crowder and a juvenile in connection to Moore’s murder.

"We had an enormous amount of phone calls that came into the sheriff's office,” said Sheriff Ernes Giles Sr. “We credit the community in solving this."

Moore was hitch hiking to Richmond when deputies believe he was randomly attacked.

The original crime happened in Prince George County and his body dropped in the ditch, Crime Insider sources told Reporter Jon Burkett. Moore was cut across his throat with a pocket knife, those sources said.

"It's been a long time since we have seen a murder as such,” Sheriff Giles said.

Kenneth Moore of Franklin was hitchhiking to Richmond when he died.

The sheriff’s office believes it was a random crime gone bad.

Deputies said there's nothing to suggest Moore knew any of his attackers. Crowder is from Dinwiddie, and Obando is from Richmond though he is in the United States illegally, from Guatemala, according to Sheriff Giles. Obando is also on an ICE detainer along with no bond, Crime Insider sources said.

Law enforcement said at this they do not believe there is any connection to MS13 gang activity.

"I love my son and I want him to be at peace," Bass said, hoping soon for closure and justice.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story indicated Moore was a graduate student at the University of Mary Washington. Moore had been a student at the school, but was not enrolled at the time of his death.