Deerpoint Lake Area Woman Murdered, Husband Arrested

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SOUTHPORT A Southport woman is dead, her husband in the Bay County Jail, accused of killing her.

Bay County Sheriff's investigators arrested him Friday evening charging him with an open count of murder.

Apparently this man's alleged behavior isn't coming as a shock.

Neighbors have some bizarre stories about the suspect, Phillip Moran.

And even Sheriff's officials say Moran has some mental health issues.

Friday afternoon's events started with a 911 call, requesting a welfare check at this house on Conwick drive, just off Resota Beach road in Southport.

When deputies arrived they say the homeowner, Phillip Moran, refused to open the door.

They say went inside after finding a woman's body.

Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithan describes, "On the back porch, we found a white female deceased along with a dog it appeared from some sort of gunshot wound. There was someone still in the house, we were able to secure the house, and able to talk the person to the front door, get him secured."

Moran left the home, strapped to a stretcher.

Investigators identified the dead woman as his wife, Melissa Moran.

The mixed-breed dog was one of 3 the couple owned.

Neighbors didn't wish to be on camera but did say there have been several other instances in the past.

In fact, one neighbor said his sons were playing around the home when the homeowner walked out and actually fired a gun as a warning.

It was Moran's behavior that led to the discovery of the murder.

Authorities say he called a woman in Rhode Island, and made some strange statements.

She called Moran's mother, who called Sheriff's deputies and requested the welfare check.

For now authorities will collect evidence...

McKeithan says, "We have a crime scene inside, outside. It's going to be quite a big crime scene so again, we'll be here all night working."

And then determine what it all mans to the murder case they'll build against Moran....

McKeithan says, "We believe there's an abundance of evidence inside that we're going to need at some point."

The medical examiner's office will perform an autopsy on Melissa Moran to determine the exact cause of death.

Phillip Moran will most likely be held without bond, pending a grand jury indictment.

Philip Moran does not have a past criminal record.

Neighbors say he would shoot warning shots into the air if someone got to close to his property, but there is no record of him ever being arrested by the Sheriff's department.

Neighbors say they're saddened, but not surprised at Friday night's shooting.


The Bay County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call requesting a welfare check at at 3609 Conwick Drive in Southport Friday. When they arrived they could see a woman dead on the back porch of the home.

Deputies responded and attempted to make contact with Philip Moran, a resident of the home. Moran refused to answer the door. Deputies made entry and took Moran into custody without further incident just inside the front door.

Deputies searched the home and found Melissa Moran, 49, dead on the back porch. A dog was also found dead on the back porch. Both appeared to have gunshot wounds.

Investigators have determined that Philip Moran originally contacted an acquaintance in Rhode Island who then called Moran's mother who in turn made the 911 call to the BCSO and requested a welfare check at the home.

Moran has been arrested and charged with an Open Count of Murder. He will be taken to the Bay County Jail and booked.

The BCSO Crime Scene unit is conducting a forensic examination of the scene. The body will be turned over to the Medical Examiner for autopsy.

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