Holly Springs police say woman missing for months now believed to be dead

The search for a Holly Springs woman missing for several months has become a death investigation, police say.

Police believe Monica Moynan, 23, has been missing since April and have been investigating her disappearance since late July, when her mother contacted police, according to a news release.

They believe Moynan is dead because of how long she has been missing, her unused credit cards, and the absence of social media posts or texts to friends, Holly Springs spokesman Mark Andrews told WRAL.

“The accumulation of evidence over the course of the investigation and the passage of time have contributed to the change in how the case is categorized,” Andrews said in an email to The News & Observer Wednesday night. “From the beginning, investigators have proceeded with the understanding that this missing person case could transition to a death investigation.”

Recently released search warrants indicate an ex-boyfriend has texted Moynan’s family from her phone and allegations that she was addicted to heroin.

Reported missing

Melanie Tucker, Moynan’s mother, requested a welfare check on her daughter in July after learning her daughter’s ex-boyfriend had moved into Moynan’s apartment. She also had not heard from her since March, except for texts and short emails, warrants say.

Moynan’s ex-boyfriend was last seen at the apartment with their two children by the apartment’s management July 23, according to the warrants. When police went to check on Moynan, the apartment was empty and her car was not there, the warrants said.

The apartment’s management said Moynan was in the process of getting evicted for violating her rental agreement, according to the warrants.

The News & Observer is not naming the ex-boyfriend because he has not been charged with a crime in her disappearance.

Protective order

Moynan had a domestic violence protective order against her ex-boyfriend. He was charged with a protective order violation in January 2019 and in 2016 and was charged with assault on a female in 2017.

He told police that Moynan became addicted to heroin soon after she started working at a restaurant and that he tried to put her under “home rehab,” according to the warrants. He said he last saw her June 20 when he got a text from her saying, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Moynan’s boss, who last heard her voice on March 17, said Moynan was a great employee who was always on time and never missed work. The supervisor said she might be in an abusive relationship, the warrants say.

The ex-boyfriend told police he had been texting Tucker from Moynan’s phone because he did not know how to tell her that Moynan had gone missing and was addicted to heroin, according to the warrants. He said he had not filed a missing person report because he thought she would come back.

His ex-wife admitted calling Moynan’s apartment management from Moynan’s phone pretending to be her, the warrants say. Police applied for a search warrant for the ex-wife’s phone records.

Instagram account

The ex-boyfriend had been using Moynan’s cell phone to keep in touch with her friends and relatives through text and social media until the police investigation, according to the warrants.

Moynan’s last known activity on an Instagram account she used to market her homemade elderberry syrup was on April 2.

Holly Springs police have asked anyone with information about the case to contact lead detective Mitchell Ham at 919-567-4702.

Ashad Hajela reports on public safety for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He studied journalism at New York University.