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Ruling delayed in case of missing woman

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POSTED: June 5, 2009 10:34 a.m.
Photo by Mike Riddle/

Debora Gail Deloach Moody's son Christian Merrill, parents Melanie and Bill Clark, attorney Richard Phillips and Moody's husband, Jeffrey J. Moody, sit in the Long County Courthouse on Wednesday.

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LUDOWICI  — A Long County court has delayed ruling on whether a woman should be presumed dead after she has been missing for a year and a half .
Long County Probate Judge Marie Middleton heard a request Wednesday from Jeffrey J. Moody that his wife, Debora Gail Moody, be presumed dead. Gail Moody, 44, has not been seen since Dec. 4, 2007.
According to Middleton, the official request was a “petition for a presumption of death of a missing individual believed to be dead.”
In a courtroom before Moody’s family and friends, Middleton said the petition complied with the law, but notice of the hearing had not been properly made.
The proper notice timeframes will delay any decision until at least mid September.
Moody’s son, Christian Merrill showed relief that no ruling had been made.
“I hope that everyone continues to keep their eyes open and keep looking and keep the case going on because there is still hope,” he said.
On behalf of Merrill and Moody’s mother, Melanie Clark, attorney Richard Phillips said, “Everyone needs to still keep looking for this missing person and hopefully we can find her with help from the public.”
Jeffrey Moody declined comment.
After the hearing, Long County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Ty Smith said there had been no recent advances in the case.  “We have conducted two searches in two different areas over the last 30 days, and have found no remains or bones, or anything like that. This is still an ongoing investigation between the LCSD and the GBI, and we are still doing all we can on the case.” Smith said.
If anyone has any information about case, they are asked to call Smith at the LCSD, 545-2118.
 

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