Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Disappearance & Presumed Murder of Monica Moynan

Ex-boyfriend named person of interest in Holly Springs mom's ...

Monica Moynan vanished at the age of 22 in April 2019. The mother-of-two was living in Holly Springs, North Carolina at the time of her disappearance. Monica was last seen in person by 44-year-old Brian Sluss - her boyfriend and father of her two daughters. However, from April to June 2019, Monica's family members and friends continued to receive text messages from Monica's phone. Her mother grew slightly concerned when she noticed that Monica had stopped calling her, as she previously would call at least once every two weeks. Still, the texts Monica's family members and friends received seemed to match Monica's normal texting style, so they were initially not too worried.

Worries finally escalated in early July 2019, when the manager at Monica's apartment called her mother and expressed concern for the young woman. The manager had reportedly seen Brian Sluss at their apartment numerous times but had not seen Monica at all since late March 2019. A welfare check was requested, and when police were unable to pinpoint Monica's whereabouts, she was reported missing. 

When police questioned Brian, he told them he had last seen Monica in June 2019. He said that she had grown addicted to heroin and ran away. Brian also admitted to sending texts from Monica's phone pretending to be her, but he claimed to do that because he did not know how to tell her mother that she was addicted to heroin and had run away. 

As police continued to investigate Monica's disappearance, they determined that Monica had actually not been seen since April 2019 - and that Brian was the last person to see her. Police also found evidence that Monica might have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance. At this point, Brian began to appear increasingly more suspicious. 

Those suspicions grew after investigators searched their home and found evidence of a "crime-scene clean-up" on their kitchen floor. Tiles from the floor were removed, and investigators were able to determine that a large amount of human blood had been present in the cracks between the tiles. That blood was later confirmed to belong to Monica.  From that point forward, authorities began to investigate Monica's case as a murder. Brian and his ex-wife Jarlyn Sluss were named as persons of interest, but initially no arrests were made. 

Months later, in May 2020, Brian was finally arrested and charged with Monica's murder. Just days later, Jarlyn was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and accessory to murder after-the-fact. Authorities said that Jarlyn had information about Monica's disappearance for months, yet she did not make any effort to help the investigation. Instead, she opted to assist in covering for Brian.

UPDATE (April 2022): 

Brian Sluss has been found guilty of murdering Monica Moynan.

During his trial, Brian took the stand in his own defense. He testified that he and Monica and a volatile relationship. He also claimed that he was not in a relationship with Monica at the time of her disappearance, but they were living together. Brian continued to maintain that Monica left on her own accord and that he does not know what happened to her.

However, the evidence showed that Brian used Monica's cell phone and created Facebook pages under Monica's name to make it appear that she was alive and well. Brian admitted to being deceptive both before and after Monica vanished, but still claimed to not have anything to do with her disappearance. His testimony evidently did not sway the jury, as they ultimately found him guilty of first-degree murder with a special circumstance of domestic violence.

Although Monica's body has still not been found, the jury still got to see an example of Brian's violent tendencies. Jurors were shown nanny cam footage from Brian's house that showed him violently punching his four-year-old child. The footage drew gasps from numerous people inside the courtroom. 

Monica's case is the first murder case in Wake County to be prosecuted without a body. Brian Sluss is also the first person to be charged under Britny's Law--which allows a defendant to be charged with first-degree murder if they already have a domestic violence charge against the victim. 

Brian was sentenced to life in prison.

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