BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — We have a startling development in the case of Robert Forbes, the Black Lives Matter protester killed just over three months ago when an eastbound motorist struck him on California Avenue, causing fatal injuries.
That motorist, the subject of an ongoing police investigation, is now dead — reportedly killed in Baja Mexico this past weekend — cause at this time not yet revealed.
Timothy Kieth Moore, who was 42, died Saturday.
Bakersfield Police have been pouring over technical data including traffic signal video for three months now, trying to determine any possible intent by the driver who struck Forbes the night of June 3. They can pretty much stop now.
Moore’s sister confirmed his death Wednesday afternoon, and about three hours later a U.S. State Department spokesperson, addressing a query specifically about Moore, confirmed the death of a U.S. citizen in Rosarito on Sept. 5 but declined further immediate comment “out of respect for the privacy of the family.”
Alicia Moore, who had established a GoFundMe account to cover expenses to bring her brother’s remains home from Mexico, told KGET — off camera, from behind a black metal mesh door — that Kieth Moore died Saturday.
What he was doing in Mexico and how he was killed she said she didn’t know — saying, “I wasn’t there.”
But in the narrative accompanying her fundraising page, Alicia Moore wrote, a U.S, Department of State official told her, “usually when it’s a murder case in Mexico they do not allow cremation! So we will have to have him shipped back here.”
Why would anyone want Kieth Moore dead? We have no answers, but we do know this:
Moore was arrested in February by San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies on numerous drug charges — concluding a yearlong narcotics trafficking investigation. Moore, 41 at the time, was arrested along with 38-year-old Jesse Daniel Talaugon of San Luis Obispo and charged with trafficking narcotics directly from Mexico.
Deputies seized a variety of drugs, above, including methamphetamine, grey powder heroin, white powder fentanyl, black tar heroin, fentanyl-and-acetaminophen pills and several handguns.
However, his sister, in that Go FundMe post, said specifically that, quote, no, he was not killed by a drug cartel.
Moore was due in court in San Luis Obispo for a pre-preliminary hearing next Tuesday. Instead, his sister and others are trying to raise money to bring his body home.
Moore’s car struck protest marcher Forbes on June 3 on California Avenue, just east of Oak Street, and as of last week officials with the Bakersfield Police Department said they were still investigating the possibility of a purposeful act on Moore’s part. Two witnesses told Bakersfield police they believed Moore may have hit Forbes on purpose; one said he believed Moore accelerated as he approached the protesters. But, according to BPD, other witnesses at the scene said Moore did not appear to accelerate.
Video from nearby stationary cameras indicated Moore was not speeding, his lights were on and he didn’t leave the scene. He also was not under the influence, police said. But complicating matters was the fact that Moore had tattoos that might associate him with white nationalist groups, and BPD said those possible associations were part of the investigation.
Attempts over the past several weeks to ask Moore about the traffic incident — and the tattoos — have been unsuccessful.
The Forbes family’s attorney, Amar Shergill of Sacramento, said Wednesday the family was still waiting for more information on Moore’s death and he would reserve comment until that time.
Moore’s sister Alicia acknowledged in her Go Fund Me post that her brother had “many ups and downs in life” but was “a very good friend” to many and now needed those friends to help get him home.