Michael Reese, a convicted sex offender staying at a halfway house in Willimantic, Connecticut, has been accused of murdering his visiting nurse, according to court documents. The body of an unnamed woman was found in the basement of a halfway house where Reese was staying. While police have not released the victim’s name, they did state that she was a visiting nurse.
Reese was arrested on unrelated charges, and court documents state that Reese is a suspect in the visiting nurse’s death.
The nurse, whose phone was tracked by GPS, had been reported missing by her family after what was supposed to be an eight-minute-long appointment at the house went longer than expected.
“This is a deeply troubling case on many levels, and one of the worst cases I have seen in my 27 years in law enforcement,” said Chief Paul Hussey, Willimantic police. “Our condolences go out to the family of the victim.”
Reese’s bond is set at $1,005,000 and his current charges include:
The Case Raises Safety Concerns for Nurses
The tragic incident highlights concerns about housing violent offenders in nursing homes and ensuring staff safety. Last year, a visiting nurse was murdered by his patient’s grandson in Spokane, WA.
The nurse was employed by a home health agency and was making a routine visit to the halfway house where Reese was staying. Given Reese’s violent criminal history, questions are being raised about whether it was appropriate to house him in a facility that also received nursing care.
A History of Violent Behavior
According to court records, Reese was convicted of a sex offense in 2015 and has a long history of violent behavior. He had only recently been released from prison and was staying at the halfway house as part of his reentry to society.
The police investigation is ongoing, and further details about the motive and circumstances surrounding the murder have not yet been released.