A Maryland man has been charged with three homicides after he murdered his own girlfriend, who was pregnant, as well as a store clerk. Torrey Damien Moore is suspected of killing his girlfriend, who was 38 weeks pregnant with a boy, and then keeping her decomposing body in his apartment for weeks.
“The body was in an advanced stage of [de]composition,” noted State’s Attorney John McCarthy on December 12. Authorities were still waiting on DNA results to definitively confirm the woman’s identity.
Police discovered the bodies of the woman and her child on December 9, after they arrived at Moore’s apartment to arrest him for the murder of the store clerk, which had taken place the day prior.
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“It’s all completely senseless,” said Capt. Sean Gagen, commander of the Montgomery County Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit. “The store clerk had just gone to work, trying to make a living. … The woman, she gets involved with the wrong person, and during a period of time where she should have been getting ready to celebrate the birth of her child, she gets killed. It’s difficult to comprehend the level of evil some people can display.”
Police in Maryland charged Moore with the death of the preborn child under a state law that allows a murder or manslaughter charge against a “viable fetus.” The law is only intended to be used if the person “intended to cause the death of the viable fetus,” and the law specifically states, “Nothing in this section applies to or infringes on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.”
According to the Washington Post, the woman had previously complained to police that Moore had “punched and then choked her for about three minutes to the point she could not breathe.”
Domestic violence is a real danger for many pregnant women. Homicide is a leading cause of death for pregnant women, and, according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, most often those homicides are the result of domestic violence. Pregnant women are more likely to die by homicide at the hands of their partners than to die by any other cause.
If you are living with domestic violence – pregnant or not – there is help. Call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or visit thehotline.org to chat with someone when you are in a safe location.