Missing from Menifee, search for FL woman ends in tragedy

UPDATED: Monday, Sept. 7, 2 p.m., With additional details.

Originally published Saturday, Sept. 5: Last seen in Menifee, search for missing FL woman continuing

MENIFEE, Calif. — Authorities say the search for a critically endangered Florida woman who went missing while visiting family in Menifee ended in tragedy early  yesterday morning after officials located the victim on a remote ridge not far from where she was last seen.

Officials have since said their investigation is ongoing, but no foul play is suspected in the woman’s disappearance or death.

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City of Menifee police officers were were alerted to the disappearance of 49-year-old, Hope Galloway Moore, Friday Sept. 4 around 11 a.m., after the woman’s uncle called Menifee PD to report that she was missing.

“At the time of the initial report, there were no known critical risk factors,” Menifee Police Captain David Gutierrez has since said.

Hope Moore’s disappearance from a Menifee home where she had been visiting family kicked off a frantic search that ultimately led to her body being found along a ridge behind the neighborhood where she had last been seen.

As the investigation was getting underway frantic family members shared details of Moore’s disappearance on social media; writing, “Hope suffers from a bipolar disorder and needs her medications.”

“She left her cell phone behind but we think she has her ID,” family members reported.

Based on the newly released information, Menifee PD elevated the missing person case to a critical missing persons report,” said Gutierrez; adding that at that time multiple additional resources were requested to assist in the ongoing search.

“Upon learning of the critical risk factors, officers were deployed to search the area,” Gutierrez described; saying, “Detectives were also notified to assist with the investigation.”

Saying, “In true Menifee fashion,” Gutierrez reported that many area residents offered their assistance by conducting their own searches throughout the area and surrounding mountain hills and trails.

At around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, a K-9 Bloodhound from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was requested to assist with the search.

Trained to track scents, the service dog quickly obtained and tracked Moore’s scent to an area behind the residence she had been visiting; however, at around 2:30 a.m., the K-9 lost her scent in the rugged area.

“Due to the cover of darkness and the rugged terrain, the search efforts were challenging,” said Gutierrez; adding that upon Moore’s scent being located and tracked additional resources were immediately requested to the area to join the search efforts.

Based on the freshly tracked scent, as dawn was breaking around 5:30 a.m., a helicopter, members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team, and four additional K-9 teams joined Menifee police officers in their search.

After about an hour of intensive searching in the hills north of the Oasis community where Moore was last seen, officials found her lifeless body on a mountain ridge behind the home from where she had gone missing.

“Investigators did not observe any signs of foul play,” explained Gutierrez.

“The Menifee Police Department sends its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased during this tragic time,” Menifee PD Chief Pat Walsh later said of the end to the days-long search.

“Although all the outreach and prayers are greatly appreciated, the family has respectfully requested time to grieve and will not be posting anything further at this time,” said Gutierrez.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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