After nearly five years of uncertainty the saga of Debora Gail Moody took a tragic twist last week when a Long County probate judge ruled the missing woman legally dead.
Moody’s husband Jeffery Moody petitioned the court March 16 that his missing wife be presumed dead, arguing that she had not been heard from for nearly five years and that the last time anyone spoke to her was on Dec. 4, 2007. Jeffrey Moody had made this same request three years ago, but Probate Judge Marie Middleton denied it in September 2009 on the grounds that the court had not been shown that “a diligent search had been made (for Moody) in all of the surrounding states, in particular in the state (Florida) where her mother and brother resided.”
The recent hearing was on Oct. 18 and Middleton signed the request the same day.
Debora Gail Moody was last seen when she bought a dog pen in Walthourville and a friend had helped her deliver it to her Gum Branch area home. After nearly a week, on the following Monday, a police report was filed by her uncle Randy Ray, reporting her missing. Over the next two weeks authorities and volunteers searched the area. As time passed and the investigation continued, friends and family held onto hope that Moody would be found or evidence would show what happened to her.
In 2010, the arrest of Kenneth Lumpkin in connection with the death of Lori Arrowood, sparked rumors that the cases may be linked. Arrowood, who lived in Hinesville, was found in Long County not far from where Moody lived when she went missing. Searches for Moody in the area were intensified, but nothing was found.
Authorities say the court ruling does not close the case.
“The case of Debora Gail Moody is still an active and open case in our department, and we still encourage anyone who knows anything about it to contact us,” Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles said.
Call the LCSO at 545-2118.
Moody is survived by her son Christian Moody, mother Melanie Clark, and her husband.