Suspect in brutal murder of Connecticut nurse lived in halfway house for ‘rehabilitating’ sex offenders

Nov 1, 2023 | Political News

It has been revealed that the man suspected of murdering a beloved nurse and award-winning foster parent in Connecticut was living in a halfway house for “rehabilitating” sex offenders.

Michael Reese, 38, is suspected of killing Joyce Grayson in what Willimantic Police Chief Paul Hussey called “one of the worst cases I have seen in 27 years in law enforcement.”

According to CT Insider, Grayson's family reported her missing on Saturday after they were unable to reach her for a few hours. Police were called to Chapman Street, where they located her vehicle near a shop. 

A K-9 unit was able to track the scent, and before long, officers arrived at a home on Chapman Street known as the Reach House, a facility where convicted sex offenders can stay after serving time in prison as they transition back into the real world.

Officers discovered Grayson's body in the basement of the home, and proclaimed deceased.

Reese was located as he attempted to flee the area and was arrested on unrelated charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and sixth-degree larceny. He was taken to the Willimantic Police Department. On Sunday, a further charge of violating his probation was added to his rap sheet.

He missed his initial court appearance on Monday due to mental health concerns, and is being held on $1 million bond.

As Law&Crime reports, Reese was convicted and charged with first-degree sexual assault in 2007. He was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison, but only served 17, emerging back onto the streets in April 2021.

In March 2022, Reese violated his probation by failing to comply with a treatment and substance abuse program, and in January 2023 his original sentence was revoked in favor of a new one, which included six years in prison and nine years probation.

Just two months later, he was released from prison after agreeing to take part in a treatment program for “high-risk individuals,” and in August, he was transferred to the halfway house.

Grayson has been remembered as a “devoted and compassionate foster and adoptive parent of almost two decades.”

“The Graysons exemplified what it meant to be foster parents and the Willimantic office was lucky to have them as part of the team,” commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families, Vannessa Dorantes, said. “Joyce’s warmth, kindness and compassion will be missed by everyone who knew her and her legacy will live on in the countless lives of children she touched.”