Updated at 2:30 p.m. April 26, 2016
An East Coast couple Tuesday renewed their longtime plea for any information that could help cold-case detectives determine who murdered their son, a college student found fatally bludgeoned in his apartment near Balboa Park more than 15 years ago.
The parents of homicide victim Andrew Moore met with news crews outside downtown San Diego police headquarters to put out a call once again for tips about the slaying.
“We want justice for Andy,” said Rita Moore of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. “That’s what we want. That’s what we need. Andy deserves that. Someone took his life from him.”
A relative found the 26-year-old man’s body in the bedroom of his rented studio at the corner of Ash Street and Eighth Avenue in the Cortez Hill area on Sept. 11, 2000.
The residence had been ransacked, and a set of expensive cutlery had been stolen along with the victim’s red 1994 Suzuki Katana motorcycle, which turned up abandoned in the nearby Golden Hill neighborhood weeks later.
The San Diego City College student was seen two days earlier, entertaining three unidentified people — two women and a man — in his apartment. Investigators think he was killed that night.
A reward of $56,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case has stood for more than 10 years. Most of it was posted by the state governor’s office, with $5,000 put up by the Moore family and another $1,000 by San Diego County Crime Stoppers.
His parents spoke to news crews late Tuesday morning during a trip that they make annually to present a $500 memorial scholarship to a student at the downtown campus where their son was studying for a career in international business.
The victim’s father praised investigators for their continuing efforts to find his son’s murderer, saying they “really do work very hard” to solve the mystery.
“And so we’d like to say thanks to the police department of San Diego,” Richard Moore said.
Rita Moore said detectives regularly provide updates about their ongoing work, giving the couple reason to believe they will get answers to their anguished questions one day.
“We just hope and pray that whoever’s out there — whoever knows anything about this case — (will) please, please call the police department and share what you know, so that we’ll know,” Rita Moore said. “And then we can find out why. Why would anybody ever want to do this to him?”
The victim, adopted from Vietnam in 1974, grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Southern California following high school. In San Diego, he initially lived with his uncle and worked various jobs, including a stint at SeaWorld. At the time of his death, he was employed as a chef at a Gaslamp Quarter restaurant.
Andrew Moore’s new West Coast hometown turned out to be “just where he belonged,” Rita Moore said.
“He loved everything about San Diego,” she told reporters.
Whoever committed the murder may have taken advantage of the victim’s open and trustworthy nature, his mother said.
“Andy was a friend to everybody, you could say,” she said. “He was very friendly and outgoing. We could just picture him just having an apartment there and leaving the door open.”
Rita Moore described her son as a happy and optimistic young man with much to look forward to in life.
“And he was just beginning to see his world open up,” she said in a halting voice. “And then someone murdered him. And that was almost 16 years ago.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
— City News Service
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