41-year-old Rose Marie Moniz was found brutally murdered in her New Bedford, Massachusetts home on March 23, 2001. Her father had arrived at the home to take Rose to a doctor’s appointment when she was discovered, beaten to death using a fireplace poker, a cast-iron fireplace kettle, and a conch shell.
Her purse had been emptied onto the floor, and cash had been stolen, leading investigators to believe the motive was robbery. There was no sign of forced entry to the home.
During the initial investigation, police were able to narrow their potential suspects down to two people, who were quickly ruled out, before the case went cold.
DNA found inside of the conch shell used during her murder led authorities to Rose’s half-brother, who was a pallbearer at her funeral. His DNA had already been in the CODIS system in connection with the 2003 assault and robbery of New Bedford woman, Martinez-Alegria.
As of early December 2021, her alleged killer is being held in jail for armed assault with intent to murder, and armed robbery charges in connection with the 2003 attack. In the murder of his half-sister, the alleged killer has been indicted, but not yet arraigned as far as I could find. One article stated that he was set to face a judge on Dec. 10, 2021, but I could locate no records of this actually occurring.
Rose Marie Moniz was a mother, and had 5 siblings. Her son has spent 20 years without answers, and with the world believing he may have been involved. Both of Rose’s parents died before answers could be found. Her eldest brother, Fred Cunha, said,” I’m glad they’re not here to know because that would have killed them.”