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Mother of Killed Tampa Teen Continues to Search for Answers


Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Times

An officer pulled up to Jerlean Moore's house the morning of Sept. 18 and knocked on her door.

He quickly assured a nervous Moore she wasn't in trouble. But she needed to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, he said.


Moore's first thought: Something had happened to her daughter.

Tjhisha Monique Ball, 18, had been traveling back and forth from Tampa to Jacksonville for more than two years while working as an exotic dancer. Moore, 54, assumed Ball had run into trouble.

The officer dialed the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on his cellphone and handed it to her. The deputy on the other end told Moore the worst news of her life: They had found Ball dead on the side of the road, along with another Tampa woman.

Moore shrieked. Her second-oldest daughter, Crystal, took the phone from her hysterical mother. Crystal, too, began to shake and cry.

The other woman was Angelia Ella Mangum, 19, of Tampa, who also danced in Jacksonville.

More than a month later, the families still don't know much about what happened. The Sheriff's Office has been tight-lipped about the incident. No suspects have been named, and autopsy reports and the official causes of death have not been made available. Authorities have not even released details about how the women were found.

All they will say is the investigation is ongoing.

Moore waits and prays for news from deputies.

"I ask God to work with the detectives, to protect them from harm and danger," she said. "To look over the detectives as they go through this case, to give them knowledge, to make their homes happy so they can do a good, diligent job."

She said she believes whole-heartedly they're going to find those responsible, that it's just a matter of time.

"God already told me he's going to take care of this for me," Moore said. "Every time my phone rings, I'm like 'Oh, that's the call.' I keep that faith."




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