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Warrants show investigators' focus on ex in disappearance of Holly Springs mom

Posted October 14, 2019 10:48 a.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2019 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Warrants unsealed Monday show that investigators are focusing on an ex-boyfriend in their efforts to find out what happened to a Holly Springs mother missing for more than six months.

Monica Moynan, 23, was reported missing by her mother in July, but the woman told police that she hadn't seen her daughter in person since March. Moynan also hadn't shown up for work at a Fuquay-Varina restaurant for months by the time police started investigating.

Because she's been gone so long and hasn't used any credit cards, posted on social media or texted anyone during that time, Holly Springs spokesman Mark Andrews said she is believed to be dead.

A search of Moynan's apartment turned up a positive pregnancy test, and, investigators wrote in the warrant application, "we believe Monica being pregnant may have been a factor in the incidents that led up to Monica's death."

They also took additional items from her home after a search, including a life insurance policy, a knife in a leather sheath, a journal and letters, two bottles of bleach and 35 tiles from the floor.

Brian Sluss, Moynan's ex-boyfriend and the father of her two children, was the last to see her alive, according to the warrants, and his actions after her disappearance made him a person of interest. Sluss, according to the warrants, failed to report her missing, lied about her whereabouts and used her social media accounts and phone after she was missing.

Brian Sluss, missing Holly Springs woman case

Sluss told police that Moynan had become addicted to heroin and had run off in late June after he tried "home rehab" to break her of the addiction. He said he didn't know how to tell her family about it, so he sent texts to them as if everything was fine with her. But investigators noted in the warrant applications that he had told other people Moynan had been at a drug treatment facility for months.

Moynan's mother, Melanie Tucker, a friend, and a co-worker at Abbey Road all told police that Sluss had been abusive to Moynan over the course of their relationship. Tucker said her daughter had also gotten a domestic violence protection order against Sluss, but that order expired in May.

Brian Sluss' regular contact with his ex-wife, Jarlyn Sluss, via text phone and Skype over the past six months led investigators to search her Garner home.

Investigators were "walking around in the woods, all around the house," a neighbor said. "The last time they were here, they were going through the house, storage room, storage building. There were several investigators."

They took some soil, a baseball bat and baby items.

In one phone call, recorded by Jarlyn Sluss with investigators present, Brian Sluss told his ex-wife, "I really don't think like there's anything. Because there's no evidence or anything like that."

In the same conversation, Brian Sluss asked his ex-wife, "You don't think I should run?"

Moynan's mother issued a statement late Thursday calling her daughter "a wonderful, warm, free-spirited, strong-minded, hard-working mother."

Holly Springs mother last seen in months ago

Moynan's mother and her friends told investigators that she never would have left her children.

On Monday, Tucker, Moynan's mother, said, "We trust that those in the position to act on the information they have will do so accordingly and those who are involved in our daughter's murder will be brought to justice."

Anyone with information about Moynan is asked to call Detective Mitchell Ham of the Holly Springs Police Department at 919-567-4702.

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