Suspect in Home Health Nurse's Death Charged With Murder and Attempted SA

4 Min Read Published April 19, 2024
Suspect in Home Health Nurse's Death Charged With Murder and Attempted SA

Update 4/19/2024

Michael Reese, a registered sex offender, has been formally charged with murder and attempted sexual assault in the death of home health nurse, Joyce Grayson. Reese appeared before a judge at Danielson Superior Court on Friday to face the charges.

Joyce Grayson, the victim, was tragically killed last year and her body was found in the basement of a halfway house. This case sparked a prolonged investigation. Court officials revealed that Reese has now been officially charged with felony murder and attempted sexual assault in connection with Grayson's death.

The courtroom proceedings marked a crucial step forward in seeking justice for Grayson and her loved ones. 

Update 2/22/24

Connecticut Democrats introduced SB 1 in memory of  Joyce Grayson and Otolegile Morulane. Both homecare workers were killed at work. The bill focuses on improving safety and protection for home care workers. 

Original article 11/2/2013

The family of Joyce Grayson, a dedicated nurse who spent her life caring for others, is pursuing a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit, they are left questioning whether there were missed opportunities to prevent this tragedy.

Joyce Grayson's life was characterized by her unwavering commitment to the well-being of those she cared for, from foster and adoptive parenting to her career as a mental health nurse. Tragically, this noble journey ended when she was fatally attacked while tending to a patient in a home.

The Investigation

The family's attorney, Kelly Reardon, expressed their deep concerns about the circumstances leading to Joyce Grayson's death. They believe there may have been significant oversights in the events that transpired. Representing the family in the ongoing lawsuit, Reardon and her team are determined to find answers and seek justice for their beloved mother and wife.

The tragic incident has raised significant questions about the safety of visiting nurses who dedicate their lives to caring for homebound patients. 

Connecticut State Senator Saud Anwar, representing the 3rd District, views Grayson's death as a "wakeup call" for the entire state. He is now actively seeking solutions to enhance safety measures for nurses entering patients' homes, ensuring that they are aware of the living conditions before they go in alone.

Adding to the tragedy, the individual under investigation for Grayson's death, identified as Reese, had a history of violence. After serving time in prison for nearly stabbing someone to death, Reese was released and moved into a halfway house. The circumstances of Grayson's visit to Reese's home remain unclear, raising concerns about the information and support provided to nurses before such visits.

Remembering Joyce Grayson

Joyce Grayson's life was marked by her extraordinary dedication to the care of others. Over the course of nearly two decades, she fostered and adopted 35 children. Her nurturing spirit extended to her own family, as a mother of six and a grandmother of four. Her obituary beautifully captures her essence: "Joyce was a beautiful soul, who dedicated her life to caring for others. She loved her job as a mental health nurse, and it was truly what she was put on this earth to do. She passed away doing what she loved."

The tragic loss of Joyce Grayson has not only left her family in grief but has also initiated a vital conversation about the safety and support systems in place for visiting nurses. As the legal battle unfolds and policymakers work towards a more secure environment for these healthcare heroes, the hope is that no other family will have to endure such a devastating loss.

Original article 10/31/2023

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.”

The Charges

Reese’s bond is set at $1,005,000 and his current charges include: 

  • Violating probation

  • Larceny 

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

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.

Angelina Walker
Angelina Walker
Director of Nursing Content and Social Media

Angelina has her finger on the pulse of everything nursing. Whether it's a trending news topic, valuable resource or, heartfelt story, Angelina is an expert at producing content that nurses love to read. She specializes in warmly engaging with the nursing community and exponentially growing our social presence.

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