Paige Hueser longed to discover who brutally beat and strangled to death her mother in her south Kansas City home last fall.
Hueser just never imagined that eight months later that her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Dean Moreland, would be accused of killing her 75-year-old mother and a second woman as well as raping a third woman.
"He's not the same man I knew," Hueser said. "I don't know who this man is sitting in the Cass County Jail. He's not the same man I fell in love with 27 years ago."
Moreland, 52, served for 21 years as a Grandview police officer before medical issues forced him to retire as a patrolman in 2005. Prosecutors say Moreland in 2008 sexually assaulted and then fatally shot 30-year-old Cara Jo Roberts inside her Harrisonville home.
Moreland is also accused of killing Whitney. He faces first-degree murder charges in both case. He was charged on July 2 in connection with the sexual assault on a Harrisonville woman. Prosecutors say DNA in that rape matched DNA at the Roberts and Whitney crime scenes.
Even before the rape, investigators wanted DNA from Moreland in connection with Whitney's death. Moreland rejected investigators' request for DNA on June 16, according to court documents.
This request came after Hueser on Memorial Day realized that the man in a composite sketch of a suspect in her mother's murder looked like her old boyfriend.
Hueser and Moreland began dating almost three decades ago when they took a criminal justice class together. Hueser said her mother hoped she would marry Moreland.
"My mother liked him more than any man I ever dated. She liked him. She adored him," Hueser said. "She said I should have married him. It's a good thing I didn't."
After their breakup, the two lost contact. Hueser doesn't know if her mother kept in contact with Moreland.
After her mother was killed last October, police released in April a composite sketch of a man seen in the area of Whitney's home around the time she was killed.
Hueser looked at the sketch over Memorial Day weekend. She said she realized she recognized the chin as belonging to Moreland.
"I argued with myself, tried to talk myself out of it, but I just had this gut feeling that it was him," she recalled.
Now that she has a face to go with the man that police say killed her mother, Hueser still has a hard time comprehending.
"They can't write horror stories like this," she said. "It just keep getting more bizarre. Every time I say it can't get any more bizarre, it does."
Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:02:03 GMT
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