Malden Chief of Police Kevin Molis and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced Wednesday that Rodney Daniels, 48, was charged with the murder of Patricia Moreno after an investigation into new details in the case. Moreno, who was 17 at the time, was killed when she was shot in the head on the fire escape outside of the apartment she lived in with her foster family in 1991.
In 2020, a cold case unit assigned to the case conducted a reconstruction of the shooting and determined the victim was shot from an individual above Moreno's apartment. Daniels was Moreno's boyfriend at the time and was staying at her apartment.
The original investigation revealed Daniels was in possession of multiple firearms around the time of the murder. Witnesses said Daniels had allegedly threatened the victim in the weeks prior to her death. Daniels told investigators in 1991 he was asleep at the time of the murder and woke up to gunshots.
The new investigators were able to track down a witness who lived in the second floor apartment at the time of the murder who described seeing a figure retreating into the apartment after hearing a loud noise. The witness gave a description of the person they saw, which was consistent with a description of Daniels.
Daniels was arraigned as a fugitive of justice in Georgia and then transported to Massachusetts. He is expected to be arraigned on Thursday.