Authorities find vehicle of missing Houston evacuee

Friday, October 21st 2005, 3:43 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Authorities were back on the search for a missing Houston evacuee Friday after a farmer found her car abandoned in a pasture near the town of Amber, Grady County officials said.

The farmer called authorities about 4 p.m. Thursday to report that the 2001 Ford Explorer driven by Sheril Susan Moore was about 300 yards from the road sitting along a creek bed, said Grady County Undersheriff Irene Perske.

About two dozen deputies, state troopers and Amber police were searching the area on foot and from the air on Friday, Perske said.

Moore, 59, who was fleeing Hurricane Rita and headed to her son's home in Golden, Colo., was last seen on Sept. 23 shortly before midnight by Newcastle police officers. She was lost, and the officers escorted her to Interstate 44.

Her credit card records show that the last activity was at 10:45 p.m. on Sept. 23 at an Oklahoma City convenience store, according to her husband, Bobby Moore of Houston. Both of her cell phones also haven't been used since that day.

``That's not a good sign,'' Bobby Moore said. ``I'm not very optimistic, but I am still hoping and praying.''

Bobby Moore said he's relieved the vehicle has been found, but still is perplexed by his wife's disappearance.

``It's been an incredible mystery to me,'' he said. ``It's been four weeks without a sound or trace from her. Why she didn't call me, I don't know.''

Moore said he told his wife before she left Houston not to leave her vehicle in the case of an emergency.

``I don't understand. I gave her specific instructions about that,'' he said. ``I told her: 'Whatever you do, do not leave the car.'''

Some of Sheril Moore's most valuable possessions were in the vehicle when she left Houston, including jewelry, two computers and memorabilia. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation began processing the vehicle on Friday and found that some of her belongings were still in the car, Perske said.

Sheril Moore is white, with red hair and hazel eyes. She is 5-foot-4 and weighs 120 pounds.