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Moretz arrested on bond violation
0903 Kimberly Moretz
Kimberly Moretz

A Rincon woman set to go on trial this month for allegedly helping to cover up a grisly murder was arrested Thursday in Florida.

Authorities in Naples, Fla., alerted the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office after picking up Kimberly Moretz on a bench warrant.

“Obviously she violated her bond by fleeing Effingham County,” said ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.

Moretz’s trial is scheduled for Sept. 23-25 at the Effingham Judicial Complex. She is charged with concealing the death of a Wilmington Island man, Charlie Ray, and tampering with evidence.

“I don’t believe she had any intentions of coming back for her trial,” Ehsanipoor said.

ECSO investigators believe her husband, Chad Moretz, killed Ray in a brutal attack on Jan. 1 or 2. Ray, who had Tourette’s syndrome, was reported missing by his family around New Year’s Day.

A standoff ensued on Jan. 11 after officers went to the Moretz home on Whitehall Avenue to ask if they knew about Ray’s whereabouts. Chad Moretz held his wife hostage for several hours before she managed to escape.

A Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department SWAT team sniper shot and killed Chad Moretz after he brandished an automatic weapon toward law enforcement officers.

Once inside the Moretzes’ house, investigators uncovered a horrific crime. Ray, who had befriended the Moretzes, had been killed in their home and dismembered, with parts of his body hidden inside the house and other parts concealed in a storage unit in Jasper County, S.C.

According to investigators, Kimberly Moretz rented the storage unit and knew what was going to be placed inside. She was treated for injuries following the standoff and then jailed.

Moretz was released from Effingham County Jail on Jan. 30 on $25,000 bond. She was indicted in March and entered a not guilty plea at her arraignment in April.

Local authorities are making arrangements to pick up Kimberly Moretz and return her to jail in Effingham County.

“She will come to our facility and we will house her,” Ehsanipoor said, “and the trial will proceed as planned.”

A second defendant in the case, Kimberly Moretz’s brother, Kevin Lambert, pleaded guilty last month to hindering the apprehension of a criminal. He received five years of probation.

Lambert answered the door when officers arrived at the Moretz home on Jan. 11, and told them Chad Moretz said he wouldn’t be taken alive. Lambert was whisked out of the doorway and away from the house.