Detectives executing a search warrant at the apartment of a suspect in the fatal shooting of a gas station clerk found a woman’s decomposing body, Montgomery County police said.
The suspect, 31-year-old Torrey Moore, told detectives he had been in a relationship with the woman and she was eight months pregnant when she died, police said.
Moore went to the Dash In convenience store at the Shell station in the 11100 block of New Hampshire Avenue in the White Oak area about 3 p.m. Thursday, police said. He took some items to the counter, where he got into an argument with the clerk, 61-year-old Ayalew Wondimu of Silver Spring.
The fight escalated, with Moore throwing items at Wondimu, who tried to hit Moore with a pole, police said. Moore allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot Wondimu, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
“He retrieved a silver handgun from his vest pocket and he shot Wondimu at a point-blank range,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said. “Wondimu fell, at which point Moore, again senselessly, reached over the counter and fired multiple shots into Wondimu.”
Detectives tracked the suspect to the apartment building across the street and got the search warrant, police said. Inside, a SWAT team arrested Moore and found the woman’s body in “an advanced stage of decomposition,” police said in a news release.
“He also told detectives that he was in a relationship with the female, who was pregnant – the female who was found inside of the apartment – and that there had been some type of fight between the two about one month prior to, that led to the victim becoming deceased prior to today,” Jones said.
Detectives believe Moore had been living in the apartment with the body, and they found no reports of anyone missing or any problems in the apartment. Nor did they find complaints about any odor coming from the apartment.
Neighbor Tony Pineda described an unbearable stench that hits getting off the elevator.
“It just smells like trash,” he said. “I don’t know. It’s just a bad smell.”
He’s lived at the apartment complex for two years but had no idea there was a dead woman’s decomposing body down the hall.
“I mean knowing it’s right here is kind of crazy,” he said.
The woman’s body was taken to the medical examiner for an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death and positive identification, police said.
Moore is charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm while committing a felony in the death of the gas station clerk.
Moore has a criminal record and was banned from possessing firearms. Police are trying to determine how he got the gun recovered in the apartment and whether it was the murder weapon.