Investigation Discovery’s ‘Missing in Manassas Park’ chronicles the mysterious disappearance of Lisa Maureen Moore in 1998, which led the authorities to delve into the circumstances of her life in order to get to the bottom of the case and reunite her with her family. However, their year-long search resulted in them finding out that they were essentially hunting for a ghost because she had unfortunately been dead all this time. This documentary, with the help of interviews from her acquaintances, taps into the intricate details that are key to the story of the young mother gone too soon.
How Did Lisa Maureen Moore Die?
Born on May 25, 1966, in Washington, D.C., Lisa Maureen Maitland was the daughter of Robert “Bob” Christopher Maitland and Peggy Joyce Maitland (née Massey). She reportedly had an amazing childhood under the care of her loving parents as well as siblings — brother Robert Christopher “Cris,” and sister Cathy Marie Banks. Bob and Peggy were very compassionate people who also looked after several foster kids for charities. After serving in the Army, this patriarch had assumed several professional positions, like that of a Council Member, Mayor of the community, and later retired as a Civil Engineer. With affection and support, Lisa and her siblings flourished and grew up to be great individuals.
As per all accounts, Lisa was a brilliant and free-spirited woman who loved life. Sometime in 1984, she tied the knot with James Moore and the couple went on to have three children — James “Jimmy” Berkley Moore II, Kerry Anne Moore, and Michelle Elizabeth Moore. Lisa’s world then revolved around her kids, and the Moores seemingly led an idyllic life. Her smile apparently lit up the room and her loved ones remember her for her warm and kindhearted nature. Therefore, the sudden disappearance of this 31-year-old in early 1998 shocked the residents of the independent city of Manassas Park in Virginia. This mother of three was last seen alive on January 6, 1998.
When Lisa didn’t turn up at work the next day and no one was able to reach her, she was reported missing – it was January 7. A search to find her was subsequently launched by the authorities. Her family members and people of the town also joined in in the hopes of uncovering the whereabouts. They looked almost everywhere for any trace of this young mother, but no shred of evidence was found. As days passed, her loved ones grew even more worried as this was uncharacteristic. Lisa’s family held onto hope for over a year, that is, until their worst fears became a reality when her cold remains were found in January 1999. The ensuing autopsy suggested Lisa died of strangulation.
Who Killed Lisa Maureen Moore?
After interrogating the family, acquaintances, and suspects related to Lisa Maureen Moore, the authorities connected the dots in their stories and found out that just a day before vanishing into thin air, on January 6, 1998, she had visited James’ place once she was free from work to discuss the logistics of their divorce and custody of their children, as they had been separated for about three months during that time. The following day, when she failed to show up at work, her family began worrying about her well-being.
Lisa’s sister, Cathy Banks, found her truck abandoned in the parking lot of the Days Inn on Sudley Road, with all of her belongings still inside the vehicle. With no history of running away and no reason to leave her three kids behind – aged 13, 9, and 5 – her family also insisted that the 31-year-old had a lot to look forward to in life as they tried to convince the police to keep searching for her and not give up. Even though there were no clear signs of foul play, a few unexplained details kept the authorities on their toes, asking why would she leave without a $600 paycheck at work, cash in her bedroom, and money in a small savings account.
After months and months of investigation leading to dead ends, officials were truly surprised when the answer to their questions regarding Lisa’s sudden disappearance came walking to them in the form of her husband, James Moore. Right after the one-year anniversary of her vanishing, he was called in for a regular briefing on the case, and that is when he decided to come forward and confess that he was actually the one who killed his wife on the night of January 6, 1998. He told them that they were having an argument at his Manassas Park home when Lisa slapped him across the face, in retaliation to which he strangled her to death.
Overwhelmed and frightened by what he’d done, James quickly jumped into his estranged wife’s truck, drove it to the Days Inn hotel and parked it there. Running back hurriedly, he then put her body in the trunk of his car and wrapped her in plastic before burying it in a shallow grave in a wooden lot in the City of Manassas. After admitting to all this, he led investigators to the burial site and showed them his wife’s skeletonized remains. For a year or so, he pretended to know nothing about Lisa’s whereabouts while other family members were desperately searching for clues and frantically trying to figure out what might have happened to her.
James was subsequented arrested. Later, his lawyer, defending his client, told the court that the perpetrator kept the truth away from the authorities and the victim’s family in order to bide some time for himself to prepare his children for a life without a mother as well as a father. He also claimed that for this, James had gradually been trying to acclim ate his children to his brother’s home. After all, the police had wasted no time in charging James with the murder of his wife, Lisa Moore, before eventually bringing him in front of a jury.
Where is James Moore Now?
During his trial, on September 22, 1999, to be precise, James Moore pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder for killing his wife, Lisa Moore, and burying her in a shallow grave. Then, a few months later, in December 1999, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison as a consequense of his own actions. He told her parents in court, “Nothing I can say will ever make up for what I put you all through. I loved your daughter. Every day since the night of her death, I’ve suffered. I just want you to know that I am truly sorry for what I put you through.”
For your kind information, Lisa’s brother Cris died of a life-long terminal illness on October 15, 2003. As for her parents, Peggy passed away on January 11, 2014, at her residence while George departed from the world on January 14, 2023. While his 25-year imprisonment would have ended in 2024, it seems highly likely that he has been out on parole for a while, that is, after spending several years in a Virginia state correctional facility.