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Body found in Staunton River; mother confirms it's missing boater

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 8, 2016 at 8:37 PM EDT
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Tiffany Tyree pledged to not leave the Staunton River in Campbell County untill her lost son was found.

She was running out of money and her family had to return home to Buena Vista but she was going to stay as long as it took. That was until Sunday evening when she says searchers found her son Justice.

"Mother's Day," she noted. "I'm trying to not think about that. He's my first born. First one to make me a mom, but I'll always be his mom no matter what."

It was a mother's love and a mother's instinct that drove Tyree dozens of miles from her home to this boat launch outside Brookneal.

"He was my baby, he was my heart, he was my first," she said.

It's where her son Justice Moore was with his biological father April 30th, trying to rekindle their relationship. They started fishing the week before. It was their bond.

"He caught a striper [bass,]" she said. "He was proud of it. First thing he did is [he] sent me a picture of it. He said he was coming back to catch a bigger one."

But after heavy rain, the river was up and quickly, their boat capsized. Justice was swept away.

"It's been hell," she said. "It's been straight hell."

Tyree has been near the river ever since, waiting for officers with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to bring any news.

"Justice was one of the most gentle people you would ever meet," she said. "He wouldn't hurt a soul. He would much rather sit in his room and play video games."

Days before the accident, he started a new job, although he wanted to go back to school to study video game design. The last time she saw him was after his interview.

"He had just gotten a haircut and he smelled good and I kept on telling him," she remembered. "He said, 'Mom leave me alone! Go on!' I can still smell him. I can. It's something I'll never forget."

And now she will have to go on, without her son. But she has her answer if she can bring him home.

"I know he knew that I loved him," she said. "There's no doubt about that. All my children know that. But I keep going back to how helpless he must've felt."

A sergeant with DGIF confirmed a body was found on the river but positive identification will be made through the medical examiner's office.

What was an online

page to help pay for Tyree to stay while her son was missing will now be used to pay for funeral expenses.

The family also has an account with Union Bank to help pay for his memorial. Donations can be made at any branch location for the "Troy Justice Moore Memorial Fund."