UPDATE: According to police, Stephen Moore was beaten to death before being stuffed in the drunk of a car and set on fire. Now a third person has been arrested for burning the body in a case that seems prompted by an out-of-control custody battle. See update after the jump…
Kathleen Dorsett and Stephen Moore were married in 2007, but they were already divorced by June
married Stephen Moore in 2007, but that didn’t work out so well. They
were divorced in June, and they shared custody of their 20-month-old
daughter. But Stephen wanted more time with the girl.
Kathleen Dorsett taught third graders in Neptune, New Jersey. She
Kathleen, it seems, was neither hip to sharing her daughter, nor really having her ex around at all.
64-year-old Thomas Dorsett is charged with assisting in the murder of her daughter’s ex-husband
Stephen was supposed to have dropped his daughter off at Kathleen’s house before heading to work on August 16. But he never showed up at the car dealership where he was employed, so the dealership reported his disappearance to police.
Two days later, officers in Long Branch found a car on fire at 4 a.m. The car was registered to Stephen’s mom. And by the time fire fighters put out the blaze, the discovered a body in the trunk. It was later identified as Stephen’s through dental comparisons.
Now Kathleen and her father, 64-year-oldin addition to evidence tampering and tampering with a witness.
UPDATE: Anthony Morris Arrested for Burning Stephen Moore’s body.
Detectives now believe that Kathleen and Thomas Dorcett beat Stephen to death before stuffing his body in the trunk of his mother’s car. They contend that Thomas then paid $3,000 to Anthony Morris, who he knew from his refrigeration business, to get rid of the body by dumping the car and setting it on fire.
Police aren’t providing a whole lot of details on the case, but it appears the murder stems from an overly-controlling mother who was unwilling to share custody with her ex-husband.
Divorce records indicate that the couple split over serious beefs on how to raise their daughter. Though you have to take all divorce claims with a grain of salt, records indicate they fought over everything from their daughter’s diet to what size diapers she wore. Stephen also said that Kathleen never allowed him to drive the girl anywhere. He was only allowed to take her out of the house for walks in her stroller.
The couple split in October of last year, and were divorced this past June. They had joint custody, with the girl living primarily with Kathleen. But contention remained over how much Stephen was able to visit his daughter.
They also had one of the strangest custody agreements we’ve ever seen. Kathleen wanted to move to Florida with her father this fall. To do so, they agreed to supply Stephen with a house or townhouse where he would pay no more than $600 a month in rent. It also had to be within 25 miles of Kathleen’s new Florida home.
Thomas also agreed to help Stephen find work, and Stephen wouldn’t have to pay child support until he found a job. Kathleen and Stephen each had to buy $100,000 life insurance policies with their daughter as the beneficiary. There’s no word on whether those policies had already been purchased at the time of Stephen’s death.
If you read between the lines, it sure sounds like there was ample motive to get Stephen out of the way.
See our last episode of Weird Teacher Watch: Daniel Jacobs Offers Kids a Lesson in Used Car Ethics.