13-year-old Niangua native, Dylan Moore passed away last week, along with his mother at her residence in Springfield. His 14-year-old sister, Alisa Moore, and Plumb’s 7-year-old daughter were also severely injured in the New Years Eve attack.
Niangua community members gathered alongside the Moore family at City Hall Friday at 7:30 p.m. to show support, celebrate Dylan’s memory and release night lanterns into the sky.
“I was upset when I found out,” said 13-year-old event organizer, Delilah Elliott. “It’s really sad.”
Elliott was a former classmate of Dylan’s, who attended Niangua Middle School. At least one hundred people showed up for the Jan. 8 event, a large portion of which being kids from Niangua schools and local churches.
“Delilah was pretty shaken up by the news but she wanted to do something to remember her friend,” said Elliott’s mother, Tori Williams. “So we’re releasing sky lanterns and wrapping this family in love.”
Dylan’s great Uncle, Scotty Nalley, led the prayer before Dylan’s friends and family said a few words to the community. Dylan’s two younger brothers took turns expressing that Dylan was the best big brother and they would miss him every day.
“Dylan was truly a good friend,” said 13-year-old, Ethan Howell. “I’ve always stuck up for him and we did everything together… I miss him so much.”
Howell’s mother said her son has known Dylan for while and the two were in the same class.
“I know there’s a lot of healing to be done within our community,” added Howell’s mother. “It’s just very heartbreaking.”
29-year-old, Brandon King pleaded not guilty to two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Stephanie Plumb and Dylan Moore. He appeared in Greene County court Monday, Jan. 11 where the public defenders office had not completed it’s conflicts check, the court concluding that a bond hearing could not be conducted without the defendant having counsel.
King also faces two counts of first degree assault, two counts of abuse of a child and seven counts of armed criminal action for the attacks against Plumb’s 7-year-old-daughter and 14-year-old daughter, Alisa. He is being held without bond in the Greene County jail, with another bond hearing scheduled for Friday, Jan. 15 at 8 a.m.
“For the kids that were there and the rest of their families that weren’t, it’s going to be something that effects them for the rest of their lives,” said Jana Simpson, an English teacher of Dylan’s. “They need all of the support and understanding they can get right now.”
Simpson describes Dylan as a very involved kid, who had countless friends. Due to the impact Dylan had on his classmates, Simpson said the first day back to school following the news was very somber and emotions were running high.
“Dylan was so sweet and funny, he was creative and loved drawing and making things on paper,” she smiled. “I still have some of his pictures hanging up in my room.”
When Niangua students returned from Christmas break, counselors from multiple districts came to the district to volunteer extra mental health services.
“The counseling services were used by several students who really needed it, and by the afternoon when I had Dylan’s class.. I know that several of them had utilized it and by that time they had mellowed out a little bit,” Simpson explained. “It’s like they cried as much as they could.”
“For Alisa’s class, most of them just had a lot of questions. They didn’t understand,” said Alisa’s English teacher, Shanda Cullen. “They needed clarification of things because it was a really hard thing for them to understand.”
When Alisa saw Cullen, at the lantern release, she leaped into a giant hug and smiled from ear to ear. According to Cullen, Alisa returned to class on Tuesday, Jan. 12 but has a long way to go.
“Alisa is a very fun and outgoing person, so making sure that she knows she has support… but that nobody expects anything of her is the biggest thing right now,” Cullen explained. “She works really hard on her schoolwork and she’s going to be very hard on herself to make sure that she catches up, so we’ll help her realize that we’re not expecting that right now.”
Funeral services were held Sunday, Jan. 10 at Marshfield Church of the Nazarene. Donations for funeral expenses and hospital bills for the Moore children can be made by reaching out to Pastor Kelsey with the Marshfield Church of the Nazarene at (417) 741 - 0068.
Divine Compassion Church of God in Niangua is also raffling off a hog to benefit the Moore family for $5 a ticket or 5 for $20. The church along with Gibson’s Meat Packing in Seymour are taking care of processing costs and there will be two 1/2 hog winners. Contact Pastor Isaac Tilden at (417) 531 - 0692 for more information.
“We’re worried about Alisa and her siblings more than anything right now,” Cullen added. “We’re not worried about what they’re going to be missing work wise, because because there’s someone much bigger that they’re going to be missing for a long time.”