Horrific discovery leaves impression
By Eve Sullivan - Greenwich Time

Tom and Elvira McGuire say their daughter's life changed after she stumbled upon the body of her friend Martha Moxley on the afternoon of Oct. 31, 1975.

Sheila McGuire, then 15, was helping search for Moxley when she found her bloodied corpse face down on a path that connected their Greenwich homes.

"She lost her childhood, and she has been living with the results and consequences of finding Martha's body and the lack of closure all these years," Tom McGuire said. "It's been a tough time for her."

Elvira McGuire echoed her husband's sentiments.

"She was 15 and that was the end of her childhood," she said. "You don't have that childhood innocence when you've gone through what she went through."

The McGuires were in state Superior Court in Norwalk yesterday, watching the trial of Michael Skakel, 41, who has been charged with Moxley's murder. Skakel also was 15 at the time of Moxley's death and lived near her and the McGuires in Belle Haven.

The McGuires still live in their Belle Haven home on Field Point Drive, where they raised their seven children. They say they have many friends involved in the case, particularly Martha's mother, Dorthy.

"We're here really to honor Mrs. Moxley," Elvira said. "We just want justice done."

Tom and Elvira McGuire attended the opening day of the trial, when their daughter testified, and have returned on several occasions, including a day last week when graphic photographs of Moxley's body were displayed.

"We had no idea what (Sheila) saw until we saw the autopsy photos," Tom McGuire said.

Elvira said they never pressed their daughter for details about the sight of Moxley's battered body; they simply tried to comfort her.

"God knows what her nightmares have been like," Elvira said.

"That's someone that you know and not a stranger," Tom said. "It's hard to get that image out of your mind."

Sheila, the fifth of the couple's seven daughters, testified May 7 about the last time she saw Martha alive and when she found her dead. Sheila said she and Martha took the bus from school Oct. 30, then walked home together.

"I was getting ready to go on a date that night that Martha had set me up on," Sheila recalled.

Sheila said the two girls giggled, talked about "girl things" and kicked the autumn leaves. She was going to a party that night and planned to speak with Martha the following day.

"We were going to touch base the next day, so I could tell her about my date," she said.

But Dorthy Moxley called Sheila's home in the middle of the night, saying her daughter was missing. The next morning, Sheila decided to look for Martha.

Sheila, who now lives in Redding, has two children and a career and is trying to get on with her life, her parents said. Her father said she is just interested in closure.

"I think that's all that anybody involved in this wants," he said.

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