As missing person casese go cold, there is a lonely echo across generations that reverberates off the void left by missing loved ones. For one woman, solving the disappearance of her mother’s brother, Jerry Moore, has become a personal mission to bring her family the closure they deserve.

Jerry Wayne Moore, who vanished over 25 years ago in October of 1996 in McKenzie, TN. He stands 5’4”, weighing 135lbs, with reddish brown hair and brown eyes. He has a cleft in his chin, a scar on his left hand, and a tattoo of a rose on his left arm.

Bottom left to right: Jerry Moore, Bonnie, Frances (Jerry’s mother, deceased), Ginger (Jerry’s sister). Top left to right: (Debbie’s ex-husband Michael), Debbie (Jerry’s niece, deceased), Donna  (Jerry’s sister deceased), Goodwin  (Jerry’s uncle deceased), Jeannie (Jerry’s sister-in-law), Lloyd (Jerry’s brother, deceased)

Jerry disappeared after visiting with his mother on October 5, 1996. He walked away from his car without ID, money, a coat, or even a flashlight to navigate in the pitch black of night. The circumstances of his disappearance deeply troubled his family, because they did not consider him likely to want to disappear on his own. At the time of his disappearance, Jerry was a newlywed, getting ready to move into a new house, start a new business, and move to Arizona with his brand-new bride. Jerry has always been a big outdoorsman—hunting, fishing, swimming, and a huge fan of baseball.

 When Jerry’s mother didn’t hear from him, she knew he was deceased because he was always checking on her, and would never let her worry. To many in Jerry’s family, it also didn’t make sense that he would vanish into thin air when his health had been in decline. Jerry had been hospitalized not too long before he went missing. He’d been having seizures and had a bout of pneumonia that left him temporarily on a ventilator. While under a doctor’s care, Jerry was also receiving disability benefits in order to support himself because he could not work. Without those benefits, it’s highly unlikely he would have simply relocated. His family did not consider him economically or physically well enough to simply disappear.

 Jerry’s disappearance has directly altered the course of his family. His mother’s physical and mental health took a huge hit before her death. Following Jerry’s disappearance, she flat-out refused to reenter the home they had shared—even to retrieve her belongings—because the reminders of her son were much too devastating. One of Jerry’s sisters was diagnosed with cancer a year after his disappearance due to an onset of stress, and his brother passed away as well. Now, the daughter of his last surviving sister is trying to make sure that her family is finally able to get answers in his disappearance, going to the lengths of becoming a private investigator in order to get to the bottom of her uncle’s disappearance.

 As she watched her family suffer for years without her Uncle Jerry, his niece, Dillon was inspired to become a private investigator so that she could continue the search on behalf of her grandmother, her aunts and uncles, and her own mother, Jerry’s only surviving sibling. Though she is not currently practicing as a private investigator, her body of knowledge continues to benefit missing persons and their families through her advocacy. Jerry’s disappearance inadvertently changed the course of Dillon’s entire life, giving her a passion for helping other families of missing persons. She is able to empathize with the rotting silence of long years without answers and how families are left in an arresting state of limbo with no forward and no backward. Dillon is in the process of forming a non-profit that will focus on providing quality resources for families of missing persons. She plans to call it Justice’s Journey.

After decades with no answers, Dillon is attempting to fund an independent investigation into her uncle’s disappearance. A GoFundMe account has been established to pull in the necessary monies. You can donate to that GoFundMe campaign here:

Cold cases like Jerry’s can often seem like a black hole after so many years without answers, but make no mistake that there are real people still out there who are searching for Jerry. He deserves to be brought in from the cold and given a proper burial.