Neighbors say Moreland was respected family man


The allegations that a respected former police officer murdered two women and raped a third woman has shocked this small Cass County community.

Jeffrey Dean Moreland was a former school resource officer, school board candidate and football coach, neighbors say. For more than 21 years, Moreland served as a Grandview Police Department officer before retiring due to medical reasons in 2005.

"He was a family man, you felt secure, a police officer," Bill Dickey said. "You didn't think you had any fears."

Authorities allege that Moreland terrorized Cara Jo Roberts, 30, and Nina Whitney, 75, in their homes before killing them. Moreland is also accused of raping a Harrisonville woman last week inside his home in the 4900 block of Twin Pines Drive.

Dickey said he has lived across from Moreland for about 15 years. He said he noticed last week that crime scene and police vehicles were parked at Moreland's home as officers poured over evidence inside the brick house with tan garage doors.

The officers would only tell Dickey that they were working on a big case, but he never could have imagined the seriousness of the allegations against Moreland.

"It was a shock," he said.

Dickey said he would see Moreland playing football with his children.

"He seemed so natural, just a nice guy. It makes you wonder."

Another neighbor, Sherry Krohn, taught Moreland's children.

Moreland has both older children and school-age children.

Krohn said she would see Moreland on the golf course, but that he pretty much kept to himself and was a stay-at-home father.

"I feel sorry for everyone involved," she said.

She said Harrisonville is a small town and the allegations are devastating, particularly since the death of Cara Jo Roberts was such a high-profile case.

"This is a shock that this could happen and be so close and so hidden," she said.

Authorities are refusing to say if Moreland knew Roberts, Whitney or the woman who has accused him of rape.

To read more about KCTV5's coverage about the charges against Moreland, click here.