The half-brother of a woman killed 20 years ago is due in court on Friday for murder after police extracted DNA from a conch shell used to kill her

For nearly 20 years, investigators have puzzled over who killed Rose Marie Moniz. But after discovering DNA evidence on a conch shell used to kill her, their suspect, the woman’s half-brother, will appear in court on Friday to face a murder charge.

David Reed, 53, allegedly bludgeoned his stepsister with the shell, a fireplace poker and a cast iron kettle at his New Bedford home in March 2001, prosecutors said. Moniz, 41, was found dead on her bathroom floor, with kitchen items strewn around the house, and her purse emptied on the living room floor with missing cash, the office said. of the Bristol District Attorney.

For 18 years, the case remained silent. But in 2019, unsolved case investigators from the District Attorney’s Office speculated that for the killer to hold the shell firmly enough to use as a lethal weapon, the person must have placed their fingers in the opening of the shell. ‘shell.

DNA testing from inside the hull revealed a full DNA profile – that of Reed, the victim’s half-brother, officials said.

Reed, a former Acushnet and New Bedford resident, will appear in Fall River Superior Court Friday morning for murder and armed robbery.

“[Moniz] was a mother who was brutally murdered in the sanctity of her own home,” Quinn said in early December. “Through the efforts of my Cold Case Unit, along with detectives from our State Police Unit and New Bedford Police, we were able to provide some relief to the victim’s family, all of whom suffered in the past 20 years of not knowing what happened to Mrs. Moniz.

In August 2020, Reed left the state after Massachusetts State Police and New Bedford Detectives attempted to question him about the case. He first traveled to Alabama, where he was briefly questioned by police, but then traveled through California, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in what investigators believed was an attempt to escape the authorities.

Reed was arrested in Rhode Island in September after being charged with the 2003 beating and robbing of Maribel Martinez-Alegria in New Bedford. This ultimately helped investigators solve Moniz’s murder, Quinn said.

Algeria was hit in the head with a tire iron and had her wallet stolen on June 10, 2003. She told police a man took her to a secluded location in his truck before hitting her with the tire iron, pushing her out of the vehicle and leaving her bleeding in a dark alley. Algeria played dead until their striker left the area, she said.

Several weeks later, Algeria saw the man who assaulted her – now believed by police to be Reed – driving around her neighborhood in a truck. She called the police.

In an attempt to avoid capture as officers located him, Reed rammed his truck into a police cruiser, authorities said. Police officers who arrived a few moments later arrested him.

After being charged with robbery and assault on Algeria and ramming the police car, Reed was released on bail. But when his trial date came in 2004, he failed to show up. It would take more than a decade before he was captured, authorities said. By then, Algeria was dead.

Although Reed was not charged with assault and robbery in Algeria at the time due to insufficient evidence, he was found guilty of jumping bail and hitting the police car. He served time in prison and was ordered to provide a DNA sample to the state – which years later would link him to the Moniz murder, officials said.

Based on additional evidence since gathered from the Algerian assault and robbery, Reed also faces charges in connection with that case. He was arraigned in October and several weeks later found dangerous and held without bond, Quinn said.

Related Content