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Man Charged In Half-Sister's Cold Case Murder Decades After Being Pallbearer At Funeral

For two decades, Rose Marie Moniz's family wondered who her killer could be ... not realizing that her alleged murderer was one of the pallbearers at her funeral.

By Gina Tron
Rose Marie Moniz Pd

More than 20 years ago, a Massachusetts man served as a pallbearer at his half-sister’s funeral — and now he has been charged with her murder.

David Reed, 53, was arraigned on Friday on  murder and armed robbery charges for the 2001 death of Rose Marie Moniz, a press release from the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office states.

Moniz’s body was discovered when her father went to her New Bedford home to take her to a doctor’s appointment. Instead, he found her “deceased in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor. “

She “had been bludgeoned to death with a fireplace poker, a conch shell and a cast iron kettle,” the press release states. “Her purse was emptied out on the floor and an undetermined amount of cash was stolen."

"The autopsy report described significant trauma to her head including skull fractures, gaping lacerations and other injuries that resulted in bleeding from both ears, broken nasal bones; and a broken left cheek bone.”

She also suffered blunt trauma “all over her body.”

Investigators believed that robbery was the motive, but there was no sign of forced entry into the home. 

“For two decades her family suffered through the trauma of her horrific death and the pain of not knowing who committed this extremely violent attack on her,” the district attorney’s office stated in December, when Reed was initially arrested for that crime.

Moniz’s brother Fred Cunha told local outlet WJAR that, over the years, suspicion was cast over several people connected to the family — including even Moniz’s own son.

“For the last 20 years there’s been a cloud hanging over my nephew's head,” he said. 

He added that “it turned out that the person carrying her coffin to the grave was the person that killed her.”

In September, Reed had also been indicted in connection with the 2003 attempted murder and robbery of Maribel Martinez-Alegria.

Cold Case Unit investigators linked Reed to Moniz's killing using DNA evidence inside the conch shell at the scene. The detectives also found similarities between Moniz’ and Martinez-Alegria’s crime scenes, noting that “in both cases, the women were struck in the head with heavy deadly weapons, robbed and left for dead.”

It’s not clear if Reed has an attorney.