This beautiful young woman pictured above is Holly Lynn Moore. Holly loved figure skating, snowboarding, and was an engineering student at the University of Colorado. Described by friends and family as goofy, adventurous, fun, and silly, Holly was your typical 19-year-old young woman, who wasn’t typical at all. A true heart of gold whose priority was always with her family, Holly was a caretaker for her mother, a quadriplegic, who had debilitating multiple sclerosis. Born and raised in Castle Rock, Colorado, Holly’s family included her mother, older sister April, and father, Ray.
According to her father Ray, the evening before Holly’s death, she was in good spirits. This was an upbeat change from the Holly who had recently begun taking anti-depressants and who could blame her? Work and school had become so difficult with everything else you juggle as a 19-year-old, she needed to explore other options when it came to managing what has been described as a mild depression. Holly brought her dog along to see her father, they got ice cream and talked about how excited Holly was for an upcoming snowboarding trip with her older sister, April, which she had received for her birthday. That was the last time Ray would see his daughter alive, what happened in the following hours remains a mystery, but one thing is for certain: Holly Lynn Moore did not take her own life.
Living in a new apartment with a former co-worker and Army ROTC member, whom we will call “Zach”, things were going great, or at least that’s what he told authorities when they questioned him after Holly was found lifeless hours before. Zach alleges they had planned the night before go hang out in the apartment complex hot tub, and then go back to the apartment and rest up as Holly had to drive her sister, April, to work the following morning. When the morning of March 6, 2015, arrived, April headed to Holly’s house so that she could give her a ride to work using April’s car, since Holly’s had been on the fritz. When one call went to voice mail, and another, and text after text went unanswered, April called her father, who was on his way to work, to see if he could reach Holly, as she immediately felt something was wrong. Ray called Holly’s phone, unprepared for what he was about to hear.
“You better come, quick mister, she’s not breathing.”
The words echoed in his ears, shaking Ray to his core. Like any father who loves his children, he hung up immediately and focused on getting to her complex as fast as he possibly could. Before hanging up, he said something to the effect of
“Why are you on the phone with me? Call 911!”
At this point both April, outside Holly’s apartment building, and Ray en route to ensure Holly’s safety, was thinking if anything had happened it likely had to do with Holly’s peanut allergy. Did she react?
First responders informed April and Ray that Holly was dead- an apparent suicide that no one saw coming. Devastated and confused, the two broke down in that very moment, and ever since have been struggling to make sense of what authorities say allegedly happened to their sister and daughter.
Zach told authorities he found Holly hanging by a cord that was wrapped around Holly’s neck and the clothing rod of her closet. Holly, statuesque and graceful, stood six feet tall, where the rod was five feet three inches above the floor. That's odd to so many, and to me, it still is, even if I’ve been taught that it is common for those who commit suicide to do so in a place where they could easily stand up if they chose to do so, but this is the only piece of evidence I can say in this whole case, that makes sense- keep reading.
Under her body, the shoes of her closet were lined up perfectly in pairs row by row. No finger or palm prints were found on the doorknob leading from her bathroom to the shower/closet area which she would have had to grasp to open the door and be found inside as Zach stated. The lining up of shoes, and the cleanliness of her room, was a major tip-off to her family and friends that something was WAY off with this entire scenario-Holly was a lot of wonderful things, but a neat freak she was not.
April remembers an alarming event that took place a few weeks before Holly's death, one she had witnessed that made her sick to her stomach, and caused her stress and anguish so strong, she reached out to their dad for guidance. Holly’s ex-boyfriend, whom we will call “Stephen”, was a military man stationed in Ft. Collins, Colorado about an hour and a half to two hours north of Castle Rock. Stephen was unpredictable, jealous, and abusive, both mentally and physically. He accused Holly of “hooking up” with Zach, which Holly had adamantly insisted was pure imagination and had never happened. Zach, on the other hand, has never confirmed or denied whether or not anything took place between the two that went beyond friendship. However, was this outright refusal to say one way or another a typical guy wanting glory for screwing around with a hot girl, or was it something he wished to use to humiliate Holly even further?
Furious for reasons unknown still while hanging out with sister April and Stephen, Holly had become annoyed that Stephen was giving her “birthday spanks” and after the 19 she was given “according to the birthday song”, she asked him to stop, and when he didn’t, she raised her voice and demanded he stops. He responded by grabbing Holly by the neck and choking her so hard she went a foot off the floor, turning bright red and attempting with what little air she had to beg him to put her down. April panicked and yelled at Stephen, even though she was afraid of the possible repercussions until he put Holly down by dropping her. Holly ended things shortly after with Stephen, and had used her phone to text him, again, weeks prior “you don’t even deserve a goodbye”.
Fast forward to March 6, 2015, where the evidence at hand, both around and on Holly’s body, was not quite in alignment with what was being said by Zach, and others.Upon discussing later that evening among themselves, Ray and April decided to hire another set of eyes to investigate.
So, why were they suspect? Before we get to the WEIRD evidence let’s introduce two key players in this case:
Jill Romann, who is not a doctor nor an experienced coroner and Dr. Selma Eikelenboom, a world-famous medical examiner and hero among most who know her was hired by the family to review and give her professional opinion step by step, even going so far as to seize Holly’s body immediately upon release to the funeral home-a brilliant and bold move that helped recover otherwise ignored proof that Holly didn’t die at her hand.
Seen here and noted by Dr. Eikelenboom (Dr. E) as well as those who are advanced in forensic knowledge, is a MAJOR problem. For those reading this still learning, here is the deal: this injury is made by someone who wraps a cord around the neck very fast and very tight, at a level we like to call “OVERKILL”. This wound is deep, goes around the neck in almost a perfect circle, and when it goes around the neck fully, I have been taught that this is a sure sign of death not attributable to suicide.
Although I have been taught that it is common for those who commit suicide by hanging to struggle with their ligature in an attempt to save themselves when the fight or flight response kicks in, there is something eerily wrong with this photo. Take a look at her left elbow, which one would think appears injured due to her suicide, or even may appear to be settling blood seen typically in livor mortis, otherwise known as the pattern of lividity, or where blood settles in a deceased person due to gravitational pull. It appears as though it is there out of struggle and the round almost red marks seen in addition to these bruise type injuries, also appear to be not natural, of course, we would have to see the inside of the closet and see the injury in person to say for certain whether these are suspect or not, but this note is because a lot is wrong, not just the points of argument Dr. E mentions, but also other problems other authorities see with their evidence, and what we can see with our own eyes and gather with our knowledge. One final piece: for those who are learning, the captured position seen in this photo is the result of what is called a cadaveric spasm, or a position captured at the exact moment of death, which tells a lot when it is viewed by those on scene investigating a suspicious death, and in general.
Upon release to the funeral home Dr. E noted a MAJOR issue, which we see here in this photo:
The area circled in blue is proof that Holly sustained a broken clavicle (collar bone) before hanging. What does this mean? This means that she was unable to move her right arm much, let alone up to help her wrap the cord around her neck and suspend herself in the closet where she was found. The pain would be so unbearable, and break so severe, Dr. E concluded, that hanging one’s self COULD NOT OCCUR.
Next, Dr. E. noted odd writing on Holly’s thigh that allegedly she did
Dr. E was able to conclude that the writing seen here was not only not done by Holly, but also carried the handwriting pattern of two DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS.
Authorities paired these pieces of evidence with the fact that the last text sent from Holly’s phone said, “you don’t even deserve a goodbye”. This was incorrect, as we know that this sentence had been said to Stephen weeks prior, and in fact, later the truth was told that this had been (likely by mistake) copied and pasted from the old text message to a new one untitled with no recipient in the heading.
Forced to hire an independent CSI team, Ray had them recheck Holly’s room for anything suspicious of note. The following was found:
- A bloody handprint that had been wiped/cleaned off of the bedroom wall.
- Blood on Holly’s bed that had been cleaned/wiped off entirely
- An ALARMING amount of bodily fluids confirmed to be so via luminol and samples to follow up, for which the roommate had NO explanation.
Ms. Romann failed to write down on the official paperwork, nor acknowledge their existence when questioned after the fact. The following are seen, by any one’s eyes, and are noted in Dr. E’s work:
*A mark under Holly’s chin so severe, it appears to have been left by someone kicking her there, and HARD.
*Marks on Holly’s neck that were almost exact horizontal patterns which throw out the whole conclusion of suicide via hanging, as when the item or person used to tether one and hold them back causing the tension that tightens the knot cutting off one’s breathing, leaves a more specific and telltale pattern depending on where the anchoring person or object is relative to the decedent. Therefore, the mark could only have been made if Holly had been found having hung herself from an anchor point her exact height, pulling straight back. However, as we already know, the closet rod was shorter than Holly meaning she would have had to lean forward to gain tension (had she tied the noose herself, impossible given her broken collar bone, which was determined to have been caused before her death) making the neck marks go upwards from her throat in a diagonal motion pulling up and back toward the anchor point. Since it was strictly horizontal, we know that is a straight-up HUGE piece of proof that rules out suicide when anyone in the field does their job and “SHOWS UP” to work that day.
*Severe lip injuries consistent with the kick to the jaw/neck/lower chin area where Holly had sustained the other injury mentioned first in this set of three.
So, what did Zach have to say and where was Stephen when Holly died? The following is a summarized version of statements made to officials, which are public records now, as Holly’s case is suicide to them, and therefore not up for discussion nor open for further investigation. “I last saw her at 11 AM on March 5, 2015, in the morning.” Only to later add that he “saw her that night too, she was fighting with Stephen via cell.” However, not only do text records allegedly show this exchange did not take place the night prior, but also CLEARLY states against his prior claim that he saw her in the morning.
Let’s not forget the doorknob from Holly’s room to her bathroom, where her closet was located, was entirely void of prints or other impression evidence.
What about Stephen? No one can say with certainty, if he was on base or not in the hours it would have been necessary to kill Holly, clean up the scene, and returned to base without anyone noticing.
When confronted with the findings of Dr. E., Ms. Roman's office offered the following:
*The collarbone break was due to cutting shears used to open up Holly during the autopsy.
Say this did happen, let’s play devil's advocate, there would have to be extensive documentation in writing and photo proof to show this was done as it is UNORTHODOX, not BEST PRACTICE by any standard, and uncalled for in this particular exam, and of course, you guessed it, no such documentation exists. Now, facing a price tag of $10,000 per sample tested plus additional processing fees, Holly’s loved ones were stuck in a place where all funds had been spent to get the CSI team and Dr. E to assist with what they knew in their gut to be true already, and the rest spent on a funeral for both Holly and her mother, who died shortly after Holly. The funding just wasn’t there to continue with the battle to get Holly’s public record and death certificate changed to “undetermined” or “homicide”.
Who do you think is responsible for the death of Holly Lynn Moore? I welcome all opinions, even if you still feel it was a suicide, in the comments to follow. I truly want to have an open and respectful discussion to help us work together to the common goal of finding new leads and evidence. I would LOVE new opinions, the same old ones that I’ve heard before, any and everything- it only makes me more well rounded and intelligent, as this won’t be the last time, I yell about Holly from the rooftops I can access. The case needs YOUR HELP. Holly needs your help.
Thank you for those who read this entire blog. I’ll see you in the comments section.