On March 9, 1998 two men were sitting at a kitchen table in Powell County. They were friends and were more than likely having a friendly conversation.
Nobody knows for sure what they were doing. And they never got a chance to tell anybody what they were doing that day. All that is known is that somebody came in, probably sat at the table with them, pulled out a 9 mm pistol and shot them both in the head.
Marcus Moore was 49 and his friend Kerry “Bud” Witt was near the same age when they were brutally murdered in Moore’s house at 336 Jones Road in Stanton.
Eleven years later, their murderer(s) are still unknown. It is listed on the Kentucky State Police cold case website.
Moore and Witt were both born and raised in Estill County and they have family members who still live here. Moore’s brother, Rick, is never at peace because he knows his brother’s killer(s) is still out there…somewhere.
“We don’t have no proof, but I have always been suspicious of some people who live in Estill County,” Moore of Dry Branch Road said. “I feel like I need to do something to keep my brother’s murder fresh in people’s minds.”
Kentucky State Police Detective Virgil Rucker was the investigating officer and Rick said that evidence uncovered at the time of the shooting gave a certain indication.
“The police think the shooter knew Bud and my brother,” Rick said. “There was no sign of forced entry . It looked like the door was either unlocked or one of them let whoever did it in.”
Rick said their were beer cans on the table and that he knew his brother liked to drink.
“It almost looked like whoever shot them had a beer with them first,” Rick said.
David Embs, of Estill County went to Marcus’s house that morning taking his son along with him. Rick said he walked by the kitchen window and saw the two men.
“I don’t know why he did this, he must have been in shock, but he drove all the way back to Dry Ridge in Estill County and got somebody to go back over there with him before he called the police,” Rick said.
As he spoke of his brother it was obvious how the years of not knowing who murdered him had taken its toll on Rick and his entire family.
“Marc had always been kind of independent and did things his own way,” he said. “He hung out with a rough crowd but he worked on cars seven days a week.”
Rick also said that Marcus had once been convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of O. W. Ballard of Pitts in the late 1980s.
“They were riding in a truck and O. W. stabbed him and Marc shot him five or six times,” he said. “He served his time in Lee Adjustment Center after spending about seven days at LaGrange. He was no trouble at all while he was in jail and got out early on good behavior.”
In a family of eight boys, Rick said Marcus was “kind of a middle child” and was seven years his senior. He loved kids and Rick thought it was odd that he never had any of his own.
Their parents are Fred and Christine Moore who live in Estill County.
“He’s 84 and she is 79 and I would really like to have this solved while they are still living,” he said. “I believe there are people in this county who know what happened.”
The family is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever committed this crime. Information may be reported to Detective Virgil Rucker at Kentucky State Police Post 8 in Morehead at 606-222-5555 or 606-784-4127 or e-mail him at Virgil.Rucker@ky.gov. Information may also be reported to the Powell County Sheriff’s office.