When 75-year-old Nina Whitney was found stabbed to death in her Kansas City, Missouri, home, the police believed she was acquainted with the murderer. However, they soon realized that they were dealing with a serial killer when DNA from Nina’s murder scene matched the sample extracted from the unrelated murder of Cara Jo Roberts. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Unusual Suspects: Deadly Intent A Taste for Blood,’ chronicles the murders and shows how a sudden epiphany led to the perpetrator’s arrest. Let’s dig in deep and find out where the murderer is at present, shall we?
How Did Nina Whitney and Cara Jo Roberts Die?
Cara Jo Roberts was a mother of two and a familiar face in her community. She resided in Harrisonville, Missouri, and the locals described her as a free-spirited and down-to-earth lady. Cara was quite close to her family and always tried to put her children above everything else. The warm personality always greeted everyone with a smile. Cara’s loved ones terribly miss her to this day.
On the other hand, Nina Whitney, a 75-year-old mother, was known as a kindhearted and generous individual. Although she was on good terms with her family, Nina resided alone in Kansas City, Missouri, and was looked after by her daughter. In fact, her daughter discovered her deceased body after not hearing from her for quite some time.
On November 5, 2008, Cara Roberts was in her home when an intruder broke in and shot her to death. Although the police were immediately involved, they failed to find a suspect or person of interest. According to the autopsy report, Cara’s death was caused by bullet wounds, but the victim was sexually assaulted before her murder. Besides, while the crime scene had no evidence of a forced entry, the police found her bathtub running.
Unfortunately, Cara’s murder remained unsolved for two years, while on October 29, 2010, Nina Whitney was found dead in her Kansas City home. Initially, her daughter believed that Nina had a heart attack, but the police soon determined that she was stabbed to death. Nina even had her blouse pulled up to her breasts, and the medical examiner affirmed that she had been sexually assaulted. Surprisingly, Nina’s murder scene also had no signs of forced entry, and along with an overflowing bathtub, the police also found a bent and bloodied knife, which seemed to be the murder weapon.
Who Killed Nina Whitney and Cara Jo Roberts?
Unfortunately, even after two years of investigation, the police were unable to come up with a suspect for Cara’s murder, and the case remained unsolved. When investigating Nina’s murder, authorities found it difficult to come up with a suspect list as there were no eyewitnesses, and the crime scene did not provide a lot of leads. Although they traced Nina’s phone to a man, he claimed that he picked up the phone from the road and even had a solid alibi to prove his innocence.
Nevertheless, the police now knew that someone had dropped the phone, and thus, after conducting several interviews, they were able to come up with a composite sketch of a man who was acting strangely around Nina’s house on the day of the murder. While the sketch did not lead the police to a suspect, forensic tests discovered that the foreign DNA found at Nina’s murder scene matched the one extracted from Cara’s body, hinting at a possible serial killer. Yet, with no connection between Cara and Nina, authorities found themselves back in square one.
However, law enforcement officials were in for a massive breakthrough, as Nina’s daughter, Paige, had a sudden epiphany seven months after the murder and realized that the man in the sketch was one of her ex-boyfriends. The suspect’s name turned out to be Jeff Moreland, and the police were able to ascertain that he owned the same black SUV that was spotted near Nina’s house on the day of the murder.
Jeff refused to give his DNA sample and insisted on his innocence. Yet, the show mentioned that he was accused of rape by a woman, and the police extracted his DNA after taking him into custody. Much to everyone’s surprise, the suspect’s DNA matched the ones from Cara and Nina’s crime scenes, and thus, Jeff was arrested and charged with murder.
Where Is Jeff Moreland Now?
In 2013, Jeff Moreland stood trial for the rape and murder of Cara Jo Roberts and was convicted of the same. As a result, he was sentenced to life in prison with an additional 50 years jail term. Subsequently, in 2020, Jeff pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Nina Whitney and was handed a 20-year sentence along with a 10-year sentence. Although Jeffrey’s current location does not show up in state offender records, we can safely assume that he is still behind bars, serving jail time for his crimes.