More than 25 years after the death of Inga Moore, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office has reopened the case with two persons of interest and a request for the public to come forward with information.
Despite a longstanding conviction in the case, investigators believe Moore’s former husband Jerry Moore and Tina Agent Fox, the woman with whom he had an affair, may also have had a role in the shooting death of the 30-year-old nurse and mother of three.
“Our opinion is that there’s potentially other persons of interest, who we believe were involved in her death,” lead investigator and GCSO Lt. Heath Wester said. “These people are walking around and haven’t been brought to justice.”
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by North Texas Crime Stoppers for tips and information leading to an arrest and conviction.
The following article has been compiled with information provided by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office and past coverage of the two ensuing court cases by the Sherman Democrat, Denison Herald and Herald Democrat newspapers. Attempts to reach Jerry Moore and Tina Agent Fox Friday were not successful.
Inga Moore goes missing
On May 26, 1994, Savoy resident Inga Moore reportedly left her job at Outreach Health Care in Sherman and headed to Cavendar’s Western Wear where she intended to purchase her eldest son a pair of new boots for an eighth grade graduation that evening.
“That was a special night for her,” Wester said. “She had plans to get home and help him be a part of the ceremony. She never made it.”
After she failed to make it to the event and didn’t return home that night, Inga Moore’s husband reported her missing to Sherman Police the following morning. The search for Inga Moore and her GMC van began.
Sherman Police were contacted on May 27 after Inga Moore’s abandoned van was located on Craft Road between Sherman and Bells. Authorities noted a flat tire on the vehicle, but said there were no signs of a struggle. A search of the area yielded no other clues to Inga Moore’s whereabouts.
Olga Jean Brister confesses to killing
Just one day after Inga Moore’s van was found, 24-year-old Olga Jean Brister of Denison walked into the lobby of the Sherman Police Department and confessed to killing Inga Moore. Brister was taken into custody by police and she then led them to what is now the Mill Creek area, north of Pottsboro. There, just 70 feet off a muddy dirt road, GCSO deputies found a shallow grave and the freshly buried body of Inga Moore.
Officials determined that Inga Moore had been shot four times with a .25 caliber handgun and Brister was subsequently charged with murder.
Through Brister’s confession and conversations with police, investigators determined her to be an acquaintance of Inga Moore. Brister identified herself as a roommate and friend of Tina Agent Fox and said that the two shared a romantic relationship as well. But Brister also revealed that Fox and Jerry Moore had been having an affair and said Inga Moore was also aware of the tryst. According to Brister, she and Inga Moore had previously discussed the affair, and Inga Moore eventually declared a plan to divorce her husband and seek custody of their daughter and two sons. It was unclear how much time lapsed between the conversation Brister detailed and Moore’s death, but she told police that news of Inga Moore’s plans so greatly upset her that she lost control.
“For whatever reason, she said that made her snap and shoot Inga,” Wester said. “That’s what she told authorities back then.”
Brister recants and doubts begin to arise
From the onset of the investigation, some authorities appeared to have doubts about the story Brister told and the reason she gave for killing Inga Moore.
“There was no motive,” Wester said. “That’s the puzzling part about this. Olga Jean Brister had no dog in this hunt.”
Texas Ranger Johnny Waldrip, who eventually became Grayson County commissioner, was one official who worked the crime scene. In his subsequent testimony about the case, Waldrip said he had no doubt that Brister was somehow involved in the killing, but that she could not have disposed of Inga Moore’s body alone.
“The victim had no drag marks, but her body was found about 70 feet from the roadway,” Wester said. “Olga Jean Brister was not physically able to carry or drag a body by herself.”
After reporting his wife missing, Jerry Moore was interviewed by Sherman Police. Authorities questioned Jerry Moore about his and Inga Moore’s relationship, but some were struck by the fact that Jerry Moore hired defense attorney Dan Meehan within 24 hours of filing the report and the discovery of Inga Moore’s body. Jerry Moore later testified that he did so because police insinuated that he abused his wife. Officials also pressed Jerry Moore about two, $10,000-life insurance policies he took out on Inga Moore. It was learned that Jerry Moore used the money to pay off more than $10,000 in credit card debt and to retain the services of his defense attorney.
Within two months of her initial confession, Brister recanted her story.
At that time, Brister took investigators back to the affair conversation she said she had with Inga Moore. Brister said Inga Moore reached out on May 26 to discuss the matter with both her and Fox and asked to meet in Sherman. The women reportedly met outside Cavendar’s and agreed to talk while on a car ride. As they headed toward Bells and stopped for a restroom break near Craft Road, Brister said, Fox began to feel unwell and asked to be driven to her parents’ home in Denison. The group, split among two cars, agreed and left Inga Moore’s car at the site where it was later found. After dropping Fox off, Brister said, she drove Inga Moore back to her vehicle, but was surprised to see Jerry Moore and another unknown man there waiting. Brister said she left Inga Moore at her car and then headed home.
At approximately 4 a.m. the next day, May 27, Brister said, Jerry Moore appeared at her front door and said he had something important he needed to discuss with her later. Brister agreed and later left her house to run an errand for Fox who had returned to their shared residence. While driving to the store, Brister said, she was flagged down by Jerry Moore. The two reportedly got into Jerry Moore’s vehicle and he then drove her to site where Inga Moore’s body was buried. Brister said Jerry Moore told her that he had accidentally shot his wife and needed her to confess or he would lose his children. Jerry Moore also reportedly handed her written instructions on what to tell the police and said she couldn’t be indicted because he had destroyed the evidence authorities would seek. Brister said Jerry Moore threatened to kill her if she did not comply, and with his connection to her close friend Fox, she agreed to take the fall.
“I think she confessed out of fear and out of friendship,” Wester said.
Two trials of Olga Jean Brister
Police said Jerry Moore and Fox remained suspects or persons of interest through the summer of 1994, and though both were questioned multiple times, officials said a lack of evidence prevented them filing from charges against the pair. Wester said, with the confession, it appeared GCSO administrators and prosecutors — then Sheriff Jack Driscoll, District Attorney Bob Jarvis and special prosecutor Jim Oatman among them — decided not to look beyond Brister.
“Quite possibly, there were three people involved, but every bit of evidence will come back to one person (Brister),” Oatman said in 1996. “This woman right here is a liar and a murderer.”
The first trial against Brister began in December 1995 and lasted just three days before a mistrial was declared. Presiding Judge James Fry of the the 59th state District Court said a number of factors contributed to his decision, including the fact that Brister’s defense attorney Curtis Seidlits did not have adequate time to assess grand jury testimony by Tina Agent Fox.
By the summer of 1996, Brister was back on trial and jurors heard from both Jerry Moore and Fox.
Jerry Moore testified that his affair with Fox was brief and that he ended the relationship two months before his wife’s death. He also said his marital issues with Inga Moore had been resolved, but Inga Moore’s former coworkers testified that their issues continued right up until her death.
Fox testified that Jerry Moore was miserable in his marriage and often referred to his wife with obscenities. She also said Jerry Moore had “evil thoughts about Inga, but didn’t know if he could go through with them.”
But a GCSO detective and Inga Moore’s coworkers and family also testified that there was bad blood between Inga Moore, Fox and Brister. Inga Moore’s sister Billie Crafton, testified that Inga Moore was afraid of Brister and she had left her sister threatening messages, which she overheard. A former supervisor of Inga Moore’s also testified that Brister and Fox pulled a gun on them after they discovered Jerry Moore and Fox holding hands and dancing in a parking lot.
Ultimately though, Brister was the only defendant on trial. She was subsequently convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison. She has since been released and cannot be tried again in relation to the case. Brister has reportedly been cooperative with the GCSO’s investigation.
“I honestly feel that the agency let the family down back in the 1990s,” Wester said. “They didn’t finish the job, and now, we’re having to reopen the wound. That’s the hardest part.”
Amid the GCSO’s reopening of the case, Bob Jarvis said he could not recall much about the matter.
“I would be very interested to see what the Sheriff’s Office has developed,” Jarvis said. “I just want to see that justice is done.”
Jack Driscoll did not respond to a request for comment and Jim Oatman is deceased.
Reopening the case
Wester said the Sheriff’s Office has long felt that other suspects may have been involved in Inga Moore’s death, but GCSO administration moved to reopen the case in January 2018.
“Over the past year and a half, we’ve had some pretty good, solid leads,” Wester said. “I think we’re at a point now where we’re going to ask the community for help. We feel that there are people out there that know about the homicide. We’re asking them to come forward.”
Wester is also calling on past and present members of the area legal community to share any information they may have regarding Inga Moore and the case.
“There are reports that state Inga reached out to a local law firm in reference to preparing for a divorce and having tapes of threats being made to her,” Wester said.
Wester said both Tina Agent Fox and Jerry Moore have been interviewed since the reopening and more witnesses may be contacted in the months ahead.
“Any suspect who we believe is involved and issue warrants for — no matter where they’re at — they will be apprehended.”
Moore’s children ranged in age from eight to 13 years old at the time of her death, and Wester said growing up without their mother has remained difficult for them all.
“From what everybody’s said, she was just the love and life of the county,” Wester said. “She loved being a nurse, loved being a mom. She was just a great human being who would’ve done anything for anybody.”
Wester acknowledged the difficulties in reopening a case after more than 20 years, but said a single phone call and moment of honesty could help bring about justice and closure.
“Do what’s right,” Wester said. “Inga deserves it. Her family deserves it.”
To leave an anonymous tip with North Texas Crime Stoppers, call 877-373-8477.
Drew Smith is the crime and emergency reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat. Herald Democrat Criminal Justice Editor Jerrie Whiteley contributed to this article.
For more information on crime news, visit http://www.HeraldDemocrat.com/crime.