By: Lisa Bicknell
On the morning of March 10, 1998, Marcus Moore and Kerry “Bud” Witt were found shot in the head at Moore’s residence at 336 Jones Rd. in Clay City. Both had been shot once and with the same 9 mm weapon. The murders are believed to have occurred sometime between March 9, 1998 and March 10, 1991.
Moore was living in Clay City at the time but was a native of Estill County. Witt was also from Irvine, according to an article in the March 12, 1998, edition of the Citizen Voice and Times.
The men were sitting at Moore’s kitchen table in Powell County, when their bodies were found. Indications were that the shooter probably knew Moore and Witt, because there was no sign of forced entry, and there was evidence that the shooter may have actually sat at the table and had a beer with the men.
Friends discovered Moore and Witt’s bodies on Tuesday, March 10, 1998, about 10:44 a.m.
For more than 23 years, a black cloud has hung over the victims’ families, said Krystal Berryman last week.
She is the stepdaughter of Marcus’ brother Freddie and was only 12 at the time Moore and Kerry “Bud” Witt were found murdered, but the loss made a profound impression on her.
“It changed the dynamic of our family,” she said. “The unknown has haunted us.”
Lavelle Moore Tipton is another niece of Moore’s. She is the daughter of his brother Harold.
Tipton said she always heard that there was “enough evidence to indict, but not enough to convict.”
“My grandmother deserves to know who did this,” she said. “His life mattered, he deserves justice, just as his friend Kerry deserves justice.”
Tipton said that her uncle had a past, but he would still give the shirt off his back.
“If you needed him, he was there,” she said.
Tipton is hopeful that advancements in crime-solving technology will result in answers and justice being served.
The loss of her uncle happened when her daughter Christian was only about a year old. He called her his “little smiley.” The situation made such an impact on Christian that she decided to go to law school because she wants to help other victims.
“Justice is a big thing for our family,” said Tipton.
She and other family members would like to get closure while Marcus’ mother Christine is still living. They had hoped the same for his father Fred, but regrettably, Fred passed away, never knowing for sure who took his son’s life.
Berryman has recently contacted Kentucky State Police Detective Virgil Rucker, with the Morehead Post about the case.
Her family hopes to erect a billboard at GoTime gas station, and they are starting a Facebook page, asking for anyone with any information, no matter how small or unimportant it may seem, to contact the state police.
The family planned to post flyers on Sunday afternoon around town asking for more information.
“We want to explore everything and see if anything comes up,” Berryman said. They are also looking into making a podcast about the cold case.
Any information about the case should be submitted to the Kentucky State Police Tip Line, 1-877-735-2648, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Detective Virgil Rucker, at 1-800-222-5555 or 606-784-4127, Virgil.Rucker@ky.gov.