Family to hold candlelight vigil tonight in memory of slain son

Published 1:01 am Thursday, March 29, 2018


Monterey — Today is a difficult day for the family of Duell Moreland.

On this day two years ago, Moreland’s grandfather Buddy Tiffee found his grandson’s body in a shallow grave in a Louisiana bayou.

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The 26-year-old had been missing for 33 days.

Now, a court case, a dismissal and two years later, Moreland’s family still waits for answers.

At 7 p.m. today, family and friends will gather at Lone Pine Cemetery in Monterey to remember their son, grandson, and friend.

In the case of bad weather, the memorial service will move to Monterey Sub Station at 6098 Louisiana 129.

Ashten Thompson, Moreland’s sister, organized the fundraiser and designed t-shirts for family and friends to wear.

The family has been to the cemetery many times.

On each birthday and anniversary of Moreland’s discovery — both in March — the family returns.

In between, Moreland’s mother Kim Murrell said she often visits the cemetery alone.

The family cannot let go, Murrell said, because the murder of her son is still unsolved.

In June 2016, Monterey’s Hartwell Layne Tiffee was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Moreland’s death, but was later released after a grand jury returned a no-true bill in October of that year.

In the two years since, Murrell said little has changed.

Her family still mourns, the killer walks free and she wonders why her son had to die.

But the lack of progress, she said, does not mean the family has given up.

“We will keep doing this until we find justice,” Elizabeth Denny, Moreland’s cousin, said at the memorial on March 1. “We are not giving up on this.”