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Retired New Hampshire Couple Mysteriously Gunned Down In Wooded Area Near Their Apartment

Investigators believe the Stephen and Djeswende Reid left their New Hampshire apartment complex on April 18 around 2:22 p.m. to go for a walk on the nearby Broken Ground Trails, but they never returned and were discovered dead in the woods days later. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Missing adults Djeswende Reid and Stephen Reid

Days after a New Hampshire couple disappeared, their bodies were discovered with “multiple gunshot wounds” in a wooded area off a walking trail near their home.

State Attorney General John M. Formella said the deaths of Stephen Reid, 67, and his 66-year-old wife Djeswende Reid are being considered homicides, according to a joint statement from his office and Concord Police Chief Bradley Osgood.

Investigators believe the couple left their home in the Alton Woods apartment complex on April 18 around 2:22 p.m. to go on a walk in the Broken Ground Trails area.

“Family and friends did not see or hear from them after that,” authorities said.  

The couple was reported missing two days later when Stephen did not arrive for a “planned event,” Concord Police said in a missing persons alert.

Investigators found both of heir vehicles parked in their usual spot and no sign of the missing couple.

“They are avid outdoors people and are known to take frequent walks along the trials near their Concord residence,” police said at the time, noting the disappearance was “uncharacteristic” and of “significant concern” to their friends and family.

The Reids’ bodies were discovered early Thursday evening near the Broken Ground Trails off Portsmouth Street in Concord. Authorities said the bodies were found in a “wooded area in close proximity to the Marsh Loop Trail.”

After performing autopsies on the remains, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Mitchell Weinberg determined that Stephen and Djeswende had both died of “multiple gunshot wounds.”

Their family described the couple as dedicated humanitarians who had been enjoying retired life. They met decades earlier in Washington D.C.

“Steve served four years in the Peace Corps in West Africa right after college,” their family said in a statement to WMUR. “He met his future wife and soulmate Wendy, who was from West Africa, while she was studying in Washington D.C. on an athletic scholarship. They bonded over their mutual love of adventure and fitness.”

They had returned to Steve’s hometown of Concord to retire three years ago.

“Steve’s thirty-plus year career as an international development specialist in service to the world’s most vulnerable through USAID humanitarian projects could not have been made possible without the love, care and support of Wendy, who also helped recently-resettled refugees acclimate and thrive in the United States,” the statement continued.

The Reid family urged anyone with information about the deaths to come forward and thanked investigators for their hard work to find the couple.

The double homicide has shaken the normally quiet neighborhood where they were killed.

“Well it’s strange,” Doug Ponusky, who lives by the trail, told local station WFXT.  “This is a very peaceful neighborhood and they’re talking about murder.”

Ron Biavashci, whose sister lives near Reids’ apartment complex, described the murders as “vicious.”

“It just seems random, that’s the scariest part,” he said. “You got some nut on the loose, you know.”

While police have encouraged residents in the area to go about their normal lives, they also encouraged people to be “vigilant” and “take normal precautions.”

Police are asking for anyone who may have seen the couple on April 18 to contact authorities. They are also hoping to collect any home or business video surveillance footage from around the time the couple disappeared.

“The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be released as it becomes available, while protecting the integrity of the investigation,” authorities said.