Guardian angel: Did spirit help Boynton woman shot by PBSO deputy?

8:42 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 Local
Outside Gene Moore’s condo complex where his late wife planted an Australian pine tree and he had spread her ashes in Boynton Beach on October 26, 2017. The tree was recently cut down and mulched after damage from hurricane Irma. The location is also where a PBSO deputy shot his ex-girlfriend and then killed himself recently. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

A former Boynton Beach mayor is convinced his deceased wife’s spirit acted as a guardian during a recent attempted murder/suicide at the Inlet Harbor Club community.

Gene Moore, 88, who retired from practicing law this summer, decided to spread his wife’s ashes in the common area of their Inlet Harbor Club condo. He chose that spot because many years ago, Jan Moore had planted an Australian pine tree there. She treasured the tree, which had grown to a towering 40 feet.

After Hurricane Irma damaged the tree in early September, it had to be cut down.

A month later, on the morning of Oct. 12, longtime Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Anthony DeMarco stepped out of his marked cruiser in uniform and used his service weapon to shoot his ex-girlfriend, Yuli Solano, who was walking her dog and then shot himself, according to Boynton Beach Police.

DeMarco’s shot to himself was fatal, but Solano survived.

“I think (Jan’s) presence was in the area,” Moore said. “Some good came out of it. She (Solano) survived an attempted murder.”

That morning Moore was one of the first residents to be called, because police still had his name listed as president of the condos, which he is not anymore.

The complex has an area where residents are allowed to walk their dogs and that’s where Jan Moore’s tree stood with her ashes sprinkled.

“She always let me know she had an affection for that tree,” Moore said. “I personally feel her presence was here and had a protective interest on the victim.”

He and Jan met in the junior chamber of commerce. She was a nurse and was married and after her husband died, she eventually married Moore. Jan stood by Gene’s side while campaigning for mayor, and was “a great first lady.”

Before his single two-year term as mayor from 1988 to 1989, he served as the city attorney for 14 years beginning in 1960. He unsuccessfully ran for District 2 commissioner in 2002 against Commissioner Mack McCray.

Moore’s picture hangs on a wall at City Hall between Ralph Marchese, mayor from 1988 to 1989, and Arline Weiner, mayor from 1991 to 1993.

Gene and Jan were married for about 10 years when she died at 44 of a heart attack. His wife’s ashes had been in an urn that sat on the desk in his office at the First Financial Building, which he developed more than 25 years ago.

When his office closed, he wanted a nice spot for her ashes. He said he found the perfect resting spot.

Moore wants to make sure his wife’s presence remains, and is thinking about planting another tree in the pine’s place.

“We had a good life together,” he said.