Ciera Moore, 14, who was a ninth grader at CHS, took her own life on Oct. 21. In memory of Ciera, Caroline High will have a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the auditorium.
On Sunday, Nov. 3 at 5:30 p.m., a group will attempt to join hands and completely surround Caroline High with everyone praying the same prayer at the same time.
A reporter with NBC 12 TV in Richmond visited the Caroline High campus and interviewed Ciera’s friend, Caitlyn Richardson, who said Ciera had been in fights.
The NBC 12 report also mentioned bullying as a possible reason for her suicide and that’s why the video interview with Caitlyn has been carried not only by TV stations around the nation, but also by “America Now,” a daily newsmagazine show co-hosted by Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic.
The story has also been picked up by Silobreaker.com, a United Kingdom news website based in London.
Aside from the interview that has gone nationwide, the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office is doing its own investigation, searching diligently for the truth, said Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa.
CCSO Investigator Dean Cable is investigating Ciera’s death. “There are many factors to consider. It’s an exhaustive investigation” and it’s a “difficult case,” he said. “But I’ve been in public safety since I was 18. Everybody (in law enforcement) has difficult cases and investigations. Everybody deals with them differently. You don’t dehumanize yourself but you try to be analytical and objective and explore every possibility.
“I’ve got to look at every facet and every avenue” of this case, Cable said.
“It appears she was going through a lot,” Lippa said. “This is a 14-year-old who took her life because she felt there was no way out. This is a tragedy that involves several families.”
Lippa was quick to point out that other students who are having difficult situations in their lives can find help by going to a teacher or resource officer while at school.
In the days following Ciera’s death, CHS Principal Jeff Wick and others at the school “noticed ninth graders were struggling the most, ” he said. So, the administration had an assembly for ninth graders in which local pastors and administrators talked to the students “about choices and recognizing signs that someone is struggling and having hardships.”
CCSO Major Scott Moser was also at the assembly.
The students were divided into three groups for the meeting and “they were very attentive,” Wick said. “A lot of this was stuff they’ve heard before—how to deal with tough situations. We did not talk about suicide in-depth. The important thing to do when you recognize someone is going through hard times is get a teacher, parent or pastor to intervene and help.”
During the assembly, Wick noticed a ninth grader who was crying on the front row, he said.
The students wore yellow to school, which has come to represent suicide awareness and prevention. Students wore blue to school after the death of Thomas Wheeler II, who died only a week before Ciera after he collapsed on the school’s gym floor after physical exercises.
Close to 350 attended Ciera’s funeral on Sunday in the Community Services Building auditorium in Milford, said David Storke of Storke Funeral Home, which handled the funeral. Close to 300 were at the visitation on Saturday.
“That was a big funeral—a big crowd—especially considering that she was 14,” Storke said. “Many of her friends can’t drive and they had to rely on their parents to take them.”
Four ministers spoke during the funeral, and Ciera’s former youth pastor at Mt. Herman Baptist Church drove from Atlanta to attend the funeral. The ministers gave “a nice tribute for her” and “her minister portrayed her as a very nice girl.”