Stepmother of Moberly double homicide victim: "He's a great kid"

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MOBERLY - The stepmother of one of the victims in a recent double homicide said Tuesday her stepson "would give his shirt off his back" to "help anybody in need."

Moberly police said officers found 24-year-old Shane Austin Hare and 51-year-old Darren Stacey Tharp dead Dec. 29 in a vehicle parked near two bars.

Austin Hare's stepmother, Heather Hare, said her stepson was always willing to help a total stranger.

"He's [a] real good-hearted person," she said. "He had a big heart."

She said Austin Hare was funny and was a jokester. 

Heather Hare said she had been in her stepson's life since he was around 12 or 13 years old.

They had lived in Moberly for about two years. Austin Hare had since moved to Jacksonville, Florida. Heather Hare now lives in Alabama.

She said, to her knowledge, her stepson had planned to visit friends in Moberly. He planned to be there for about a week, she said.

Heather Hare said she and her stepdaughter do not know how Austin Hare would have known Tharp, who police said was also in the vehicle.

"I mean, we've wracked our brains and called, you now, friends, and, you know, nobody knows," Heather Hare said.

She said Austin Hare and his sister were "best friends."

That sister, Sara Hare, said, "I just want people to remember how big of a heart he had, how funny he was."

His stepmother said the family is now trying to give Austin Hare the funeral he deserves.

"We're just trying to stay strong and just make sure that Austin's taken care of," she said.

She added: "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy."

Heather Hare said the family hopes police will find whoever is responsible. She said her heart goes out to Tharp's family.

"I do talk to his son. Great kid," she said.

Police found the vehicle around 11:20 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Concannon Street. Police said the two men appeared to die from gunshot wounds.

The Randolph County Coroner ruled the deaths as homicide, police said. The Boone County Medical Examiner was scheduled to perform autopsies Monday morning. 

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