Police ID pregnant woman whose body was found decomposing in shooting suspect’s Montgomery Co. home 

The pregnant woman whose body was found decomposing inside the Maryland home of a man accused of shooting a gas station clerk in Montgomery County has been identified.

Police said that Torrey Damien Moore killed Denise Middleton, 26, some time in October. Middleton’s body was found last Friday, while Montgomery County police were executing a search warrant in Moore’s home on Oak Leaf Drive related to the shooting death of Ayalew Wondimu, 61.

Police found Middleton’s body in the bedroom in an “advanced stage of decomposition.” An autopsy found that at the time of her death, she was 38 weeks pregnant, and her baby, a boy, would have lived had he had been delivered at that time. The autopsy also found that she was shot several times.

Police said Moore told detectives that he had been in a relationship with Middleton and she had been killed during “some kind of fight between the two” about a month ago.

Moore, 31, is charged with first-degree murder for Middleton and first-degree murder for the death of her unborn child. He also faces charges of crime of violence against a pregnant person.

Currently, he is held without bond for Wondimu’s killing.

Wondimu was working a gas station clerk at the Dash In convenience store on New Hampshire Avenue, when Moore came in on Dec. 8 around 3 p.m. Police said Moore took a bottle of iced tea and approached the counter where Wondimu was working.

Video surveillance and witnesses accounts showed that Moore and Wondimu got into an argument and a fight, which ended with Moore throwing merchandise at Wondimu, who tried to fight back with a metal pole.

That’s when Moore pulled a handgun from under his vest and shot Wondimu several times at “point-blank range,” before fleeing, police said. Montgomery County police Chief Marcus Jones said in a news conference last week that Moore even continued firing at Wondimu even after he had fallen.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report. 

Editor’s note: Ayalew Wondimu was working at the counter at the store. This story has been edited to clarify that.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up