Authorities: Former Collier man stabbed acquaintance, dismembered body before fatal standoff

Chad Moretz

Photo by CCSO

Chad Moretz

Charles Ray

Charles Ray

Investigators said Monday they believe a former Golden Gate Estates man stabbed an acquaintance at his Georgia home then dismembered the body in an attempt to conceal it.

Chad Moretz, 34, died Friday following a five-hour standoff with a SWAT team in Rincon, Ga., a suburb of Savannah. Moretz is the son of homicide victim Christine Moretz and her estranged husband and accused killer Jeffrey Moretz, who survived the attempted murder-suicide at Physicians Regional — Pine Ridge in July 2011.

Following a Friday standoff in which Chad Moretz held his wife Kimberly hostage, detectives were given information that there might be a body inside the residence. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities tore down a kitchen cabinet and found the dismembered head of Charles Ray, 35, who had been missing since New Year's Eve, according to David Ehsanipoor, spokesman for the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.

"They had known each other a long time and at one point were friends," he said, with the caveat that investigators had not yet determined a motive in the killing.

Officials recovered several knives and a saw from the home, where they believe the slaying took place, Ehsanipoor said. The rest of Ray's remains and some of his clothing were found in a storage unit in nearby Jasper County, S.C., he said.

Kimberly Moretz and her brother, Kevin Lambert, who were removed from the home during the standoff, were arrested with no bond on charges of concealing a body.

Ehsanipoor said there was no reason to believe the siblings were involved in the killing but said it would have been "pretty obvious" to them that there were body parts inside the home. Both are cooperating with investigators, he said.

Chad Moretz was "well known to law enforcement," having been arrested most recently on Dec. 22 for making terroristic threats, Ehsanipoor said. During an interview with authorities after a 2009 assault in Collier County, Chad's father, Jeffrey Moretz, said his son had psychiatric and anger issues.

Jeffrey Moretz, remains at the Naples Jail Center, where he is being held on a charge of second-degree murder with a firearm. Jail personnel said defense attorneys can occasionally arrange for an inmate to attend a funeral, although it was unclear Monday if any such arrangements had been made for Moretz.

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