Suspect identified in killing of visiting nurse is a sex offender with 'violent tendencies'

WILLIMANTIC, CT - Authorities have identified a suspect in the killing of a visiting nurse at a halfway house in Willimantic on Saturday, October 28th. 

NBC Connecticut obtained court documents showing that police obtained an arrest warrant for 38-year-old Michael Carlos Reese, a registered sex offender, who lived at the halfway house and who had an appointment with the visiting nurse.

Reese, who has "violent tendencies," was on probation with an ankle monitor at the time of the deadly incident. The appointment with the visiting nurse was supposed to take eight minutes, but her location still pinged at the home hours later. 

Around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 28th, officers were contacted by the family of a woman who had been missing and unaccounted for since the mid-morning hours. Family said that she was believed to have been in Willimantic. 

Police went to the halfway house on Chapman Street to investigate, but determined that the missing woman's vehicle was no longer in the area. 

Authorities continued to search and eventually found the missing woman's vehicle at a business nearby. A police K9 followed a track from her vehicle to the back of the home were the woman was believed to be. 

The woman was found dead in the basement of the home located at 106 Chapman Street. That home is part of a Re-Entry Assisted Community Housing (REACH) location. 

While investigating the area, Reese was seen fleeing and according to police, he had a knife on him as well as debit and credit cards not belonging to him.

He was detained and later arrested on unrelated charges. In the court documents for those unrelated charges obtained by NBC Connecticut, police stated that Reese is a suspect in the murder of the visiting nurse. 

He is being held on a bond set just over $1 million and faces charges for violating probation, larceny and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Reese has a lengthy rap sheet. He has served time in prison for assault resulting in serious physical injury and other charges. He reportedly completed a residential treatment program and transition to the halfway house a few months back.

Reese is currently incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. He did not appear in court on Monday, October 30th for his arraignment due to current mental health issues. Officials said that he posed a safety threat to others. 

Reese also reportedly refused to take part in a virtual hearing. The hearing continued without him. The investigation is active and ongoing. The Connecticut State Police (CSP) are leading the investigation. 

In a statement, CSP media representative said, "All agencies involved in the Willimantic homicide investigation will not provide further information regarding this investigation."

According to NBC Connecticut, since the deadly incident state legislators have called for more protections for nurses and other healthcare workers. Legislators, joined by healthcare professionals will meet on Wednesday, November 1st at 2:00 p.m.

State Sen. Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), co-chair of the public health committee, said in response to the visiting nurse's murder that he and his colleagues plan to explore legislation this session to address the safety of visiting nurses and home care workers.

He said, "We need to find out how we can make sure healthcare workers are going to stay safe. We passed a bill that is already a law that they will be safe and we will work towards that in hospital settings, but in the home settings we have not done enough and we feel that there is an opportunity to do more."
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Unless they require nurses to always go in pairs or some other person to be present at all times in situations like this, how exactly are they going to ensure the safety of visiting nurses when they're going alone in amongst criminals? I'd really like to know what they plan to do.

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