The boyfriend of a New Port Richey woman reported missing last week has been arrested in connection to her death as authorities say they are now looking for her body.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco announced the developments during a news conference at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center Monday night. He said Collin Knapp, 30, faces a second-degree murder charge in the killing of Kathleen Moore, 34.
Moore was last seen in the Carmel Avenue area of New Port Richey around 1 a.m. Nov. 29. Earlier that night, Moore and Knapp, her boyfriend, had been out with friends in Pinellas County, where they went to some bars in Largo and Indian Rocks Beach.
Witnesses say the two had argued while out at the bars, and they left in Knapp’s Cadillac, driving from the Tampa Bay area into Pasco County, where Knapp lived.
Around 12:30 a.m., Knapp bought cigarettes at a 7-Eleven in New Port Richey. Knapp said that Moore was in the vehicle but, Nocco said, based on surveillance footage, he is not able to confirm whether or not she was in the vehicle.
Knapp said he and Moore then went to his house on Carmel Avenue, where they got into another argument. He claimed Moore took her backpack and left his house, but Nocco said there is no evidence Moore ever left.
Moore initially was reported missing to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 30. The case was handed off to Pasco authorities after it was discovered Moore had last been seen in Pasco County, the sheriff said.
Pasco deputies discovered Knapp had thrown away some clothes in the dumpster at Harold Seltzer’s Steakhouse, where he worked. They requested that Waste Management take the dumpster to a landfill, where investigators sorted through the trash and found Knapp’s discarded clothing, which was stained. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement ran tests and determined the stains were made by blood — and the blood was a match to Moore.
The Sheriff’s Office then obtained a warrant for Knapp’s arrest, and he was booked in the Pasco County Jail Monday.
Knapp has been arrested on 10 felony charges and nine misdemeanors since 2004, including aggravated assault, aggravated battery and domestic violence, Nocco said. Knapp did not have any previous domestic violence charges involving Moore.
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Sgt. Michael Rosa said investigators are still working to locate Moore’s body. They said Knapp was initially cooperative, though inconsistent with the information he provided, but he has now refused to speak with deputies. Rosa said investigators do not know the possible manner of Moore’s death at this time.
Investigators are seeking witnesses who spotted “a black 2006 Cadillac CT6 with Florida tag Z917XC and a black 2004 Chevrolet Silverado with bed cover with a Florida tag QXLT69″ between midnight on Nov. 29 and the afternoon of Nov. 30. Anyone who has information is asked to call the office’s non-emergency line at 727-847-8102, then select option 7.
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