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Crime News

Murder Arrest Leads To Unexpected Discovery Of Decomposing Pregnant Woman

Police sought 31-year-old Torrey Moore for the death of gas station employee Ayalew Wondimu, who was shot to death across the street from Moore's apartment. There, investigators found a pregnant woman in an advanced stage of decomposition. 

By Jax Miller
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

Maryland police got more than they bargained for when they went to arrest a man for murder and came upon decomposing human remains.

Torrey Moore, 31, is charged with first-degree homicide for the Thursday shooting death of gas station employee Ayalew Wondimu, 61, according to the Montgomery County Department of Police. When officers tracked the suspect down at his apartment complex across the street, they found a body “in an advanced stage of decomposition.”

“Moore gave statements to detectives that he had been in a relationship with the person located inside the apartment,” said police. “He also stated that the victim was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.”

The woman’s cause and manner have yet to be determined, and police have chosen to withhold the victim’s name until the completion of a postmortem examination and notifying next of kin.

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On Thursday at around 3:03 p.m., police were called to a Dash In convenience store at a Shell station on New Hampshire Ave. in Silver Spring, Maryland, just north of Washington D.C.

There, they found Wondimu with gunshot wounds and pronounced him dead on the scene.

“Preliminary investigation has revealed that Moore entered the convenience store, selected merchandise, and approached the counter,” police stated. “For reasons unknown at this time, a verbal altercation occurred between Moore and Wondimu.”

A police handout of Torrey Moore

Police say Moore pulled a handgun from his vest after an “altercation quickly escalated” and shot the victim multiple times.

Detectives traced Moore’s movements to the Enclave Apartments - just across the street from the Dash In convenience store - where Moore resided.

During the execution of a search warrant, police found the woman’s body, which has since been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Moore allegedly told investigators that the victim was his girlfriend and that she died as a result of an altercation between the pair about one month earlier, according to ABC Arlington, Virginia affiliate WJLA.

The Major Crime Division arrested Moore on the scene and brought him to the Montgomery Central Processing Unit, where he was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a commission of a felony.

Pending the results of the deceased woman’s autopsy, charges may be amended, according to police.

“We’re at the very early stages of this investigation and trying to understand [the deceased's] family history, much about her, what has been occurring between these two individuals over the past during the course of their relationship,” said Chief of Police Marcus Jones during a Friday news conference. “And what would have occurred that would have warranted someone’s dead body to be in the apartment for a very lengthy period of time and not contact authorities. That raises a lot of concerns for us. So we’ve got a lot of work to do to follow up with this particular investigation.”

Moore is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 6, 2023, according to the Arlington outlet.

Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives from the Montgomery County Police’s Major Crimes Division at 1-240-773-5070 or Montgomery County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.