Ex-boyfriend, murder suspect in death of 23-year-old Holly Springs mother to testify Wednesday

26 April 2022

— Brian Sluss, charged with the 2019 murder of his 23-year-old girlfriend and the mother of his two children, is expected to take the stand Wednesday – two weeks after his trial began.

The state is expected to rest its case Wednesday as well, after presenting 53 witnesses over the course of the trial.

Sluss is accused of killing the mother of his two girls, 23-year-old Monica Moynan, and disposing of her body.

During the trial Tuesday, prosecutors played audio of an interview between Sluss and detectives at his parents’ home in Virginia.

A scientist also testified that blood found in Moynan’s Holly Springs home belonged to her.

Moynan’s body has not been found, but prosecutors said they have enough evidence to prove Sluss is the man responsible for her death.

Sluss, however, says Moynan walked out on him in mid-June 2019, and he had been covering up for her. However, the state maintains she was killed on April 7, 2019, saying they believe no calls or social media posts have been made by her since that time.

Brian Sluss, missing Holly Springs woman case

In October 2019, Holly Springs police said they believed Moynan was dead due to how long she’d been missing, along with the fact that she hadn’t used any credit cards or made posts on social media in months.

“The circumstances that she hadn’t been seen, that her child’s father had her car, her phone, her credit card and her children and he was leaving the state” made Lt. Jessica McMillan of the Holly Springs police feel there could be a case against Sluss.

Monica Moynan, missing Holly Springs woman

Investigators said Sluss had been driving Moynan’s car and using her cellphone, even pretending to be her in texts and Instagram posts to her family and friends. He also had been staying at Moynan’s apartment even though management had a trespass order preventing him from setting foot on the property.

Sluss told police that Moynan had become addicted to heroin and had run off in late June after he tried “home rehab” to break her of the addiction.

The couple had two daughters, who were ages 1 and 4 at the time she went missing.

In May 2020, Sluss was arrested and charged with her murder.

Victim's family speaks for the first time, hopes for justice and to find her remains

Search warrants filed by Holly Springs Police revealed he had been abusive and covered up her disappearance. For 10 months, Moynan’s family helped push the investigation forward.

“First and foremost I want to know where my daughter is so she can be brought home to rest,” said Moynan’s mother, Melanie Tucker.

“Three years and 5 days ago the defendant Brian Sluss murdered the mother of his children, Monica Moynan,” said assistant district attorney Melanie Shekita.

According to Shekita, Moynan met Sluss when she was 17. Sluss, now in his 40s, was 20 years older than she was.

Shekita argued that evidence and prior reports proved Sluss was abusive. When the abuse began, Moynan still wanted Sluss to be involved with the children. However, in 2016, she filed a restraining order. In 2017, he was charged with assaulting her. Sluss constantly checked up on Moynan, texted her and wanted to know who she was with, the prosecution said. He even accessed her social media without her consent, according to the prosecution.

The prosecution said March 6, 2019, was the last selfie she ever posted, and that her last text was April 7, 2019.

Then, Moynan was gone. She never showed up to work. Then, she missed a baby shower. She missed doula training and didn’t take her daughter to the doctor. When neighbors asked about her, Shekita said Sluss said she was sick or working – or even used her social media or texts to pretend he was her.

Investigators located Sluss at his parents’ home in Virginia. He had Moynan’s phone, a phone investigators say he was using to impersonate Moynan through texts, calls and social media.

“He communicated with people as if he were Monica, putting up a façade that Monica was still alive,” said Shekita.

Investigators suspected she’d been murdered after she had been missing for such a long time, without using any credit cards. Shekita said they had seized her phone and EBT card, and found her purse and wallet in the home.

Shekita said when City-County Bureau of Identification came out, “They used a chemical to detect the presence of blood, and it lit up.”

Authorities found a significant amount of blood under the kitchen floor, as well, Shekita said.

The defense: Moynan was an unreliable parent, while Sluss served as primary caregiver and a good father

According to Tommy Manning, Sluss’ attorney, “Monica [Moynan] was more and more absent from their home.”

The defense said Moynan told Sluss she “had to leave” and that “she was tired.” Sluss said she walked out, and he never saw her again.

Manning says Sluss was a good father, and that every time Moynan needed help, she called him, despite the protective order.

“She called him, and he came and took excellent care of their girls,” Manning said.

Manning said Sluss prepared food, changed diapers, did laundry and maintained the house – while Moynan went to work, or needed breaks, or went out with friends.

“The constant in all of this, Brian was there with their girls and he was taking care of them,” Manning said.

Meanwhile, Manning said Moynan was unreliable, fired from her jobs, while Sluss continued as the primary caregiver for the children.

At the end of opening statements, Manning made a simple plea: To follow the evidence.

“Please keep all this in context as you listen to the evidence: There’s more than one story here,” Manning said. “The only thing that matters here is evidence. Please listen and be extremely careful of your examination of the evidence.”

Sluss is expected to testify on his own behalf.

This post was originally published on this site

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