On March 23, 2001, 40-year-old Rose Moniz was found brutally murdered in the bathroom of her Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, home. Investigation by Massachusetts State Police and New Bedford Police revealed that she had been struck in the head with a fire poker, a conch shell, and a cast iron tea kettle. The case went unsolved.
Over the years, evidentiary items recovered from the crime scene were re-tested and more than a hundred people were interviewed. Items from the scene were retested over the years and over a hundred witnesses were interviewed. In 2019, the conch shell was re-tested for forensic evidence. Inside the shell, the forensic analysts located a DNA profile; that profile was entered into a DNA database and hit to DAVID REED, now 53, the victim’s half-brother. REED’s DNA had been entered into the database as a result of a prior conviction for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and for a bail violation on prior cases. REED had never been known to the original case investigators.
In late August 2020, New Bedford Police Sgt. Andrew Simmons and Massachusetts State Police Lt. Ann Marie Robertson, the commander of the MSP’s Unresolved Cases Unit, interviewed REED at his residence in Dartmouth. Within minutes of the investigators leaving his house, REED allegedly began making plans to leave Massachusetts. He first stayed at a motel and then took a bus to Alabama, where he had lived previously. In December 2020, the Massachusetts investigators had a deputy from the Clanton County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Department try to speak to REED at his place of employment. The suspect fled from his work place when he found out the deputy had arrived there.
Meanwhile, the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office convened a grand jury to hear evidence against REED for the 2003 assault and robbery of a different woman. On Sept. 1, 2021, the grand jury sitting in Fall River Superior Court returned indictments against REED for the 2003 case. The next day MSP and New Bedford Detectives went to Central Falls, R.I., where information developed by investigators indicated REED was living. Tipped off by an acquaintance, however, REED fled Central Falls.
In the days that followed, investigators developed information that REED may be staying at the Providence Rescue Mission shelter in Providence, R.I. Providence Police went to the shelter on Sept. 10, found REED sleeping in the kitchen, and arrested him on the indictments for the 2003 offenses. He has subsequently been charged with the homicide of Rose Moniz by the office of Bristol District Attorney Tom Quinn and will be arraigned on that charge next week.