Chad Moretz wasn't in his house alone when Effingham County Sheriff's Office employees came a calling, joined by his brother-in-law Kevin Lambert, who whispered a warning to detectives at the front door about his sister's husband. He said, "Chad's in here, he's got a rifle, he's going to kill ya'll."
That's all police needed to hear in order to let SWAT take control of the hostage situation that eventually resulted. Lambert escaped from the home unharmed, but his sister wasn't able to leave the house before Chad refused to come out.
Law enforcement was on the scene as a result of a missing person case they were working, and they only meant to question the suspect further, but it was actually the fourth time in a year and a half that they had been to the home of Chad Moretz for police matters.
Earlier visits were to investigate him allegedly chasing his wife with a machete, threatening a man with a firearm and stabbing a dog to death with a pocket knife. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a dog had gotten loose several times and allegedly bitten the suspect, prompting his retaliation.
On Friday, Jan. 11 police were at the Moretz home to continue an investigation into the Dec. 31 disappearance of his close friend Charlie Ray. Ray's family had reported him missing on that date and expressed concern over the fact that he did not have his Tourette's syndrome medication with him.
Effingham County law enforcement officers found partial remains of Ray in the home after a SWAT sniper shot and killed Moretz on his front porch. The suspect had finally exited his home after his wife managed to flee him and run out the front door. He lifted his rifle to aim as he exited and SWAT shot back first.
After entering Moretz's home, police were assailed with the stench of death and filth, finding the missing man's head and his two hands, with the remainder of Charlie Ray's dismembered body parts found in bags in a storage locker in Jasper, S.C., thanks to a tip from a sibling of Moretz.
Effingham investigator David Ehsanipoor said "I don't believe there was a motive," for the killing, and Chad Moretz's wife Kimberly told police that Charlie and Chad were just drinking and talking when it turned into an argument. She said her husband grabbed a knife and began stabbing his friend, with the autopsy reflecting as many as 40 stab wounds pierced the 38 year old man's body.
Police have charged Kimberly Moretz and her brother Kevin Lambert with helping to conceal the death.
If Moretz had not been killed by a SWAT sniper in Georgia after raising his AR-15 to take aim, then he might have joined other crime stories in the nation in the gun debate battle. As it is, however, his death will make a court trial unnecessary--except for his wife and brother-in-law's charges. And the fact that he killed his victim with a knife instead of the assault rifle will probably be disregarded in the gun debate.