The Concord, N.H., couple killed while walking along a hiking trail last week had moved back to New England after Stephen L. Reid retired from a decades-long career in international development, the family said Monday in a statement.
Reid, 67, and his wife, Djeswende P. Reid, 66, were found dead last Thursday on the Marsh Loop Trail, a 1.5-mile hike within the wetlands of the Broken Ground trail system in Concord.
They were reported missing a day earlier after failing to come to a planned meeting with relatives, police said. Their sudden disappearance, and silence, was rattling and unusual. “Have you seen the Reids?” inquired the Concord Police Department in an Instagram post on Thursday morning. Hours later, their bodies were found, riddled with multiple gunshot wounds.
The couple had last been spotted three days earlier, on April 18, around 2:20 p.m. leaving their Alton Woods apartment complex for a walk in the Broken Ground trail system. The double homicide shook the sleepy capital city, which recorded just seven murders and one attempted murder from 2016 to 2020, according to police data.
Stephen Reid was a native of Concord, but his humanitarian work brought him to several corners of the world. He joined the Peace Corps out of college, spending four years in West Africa teaching English to middle-schoolers. But it was in Washington, D.C., that he met Djeswende where she was attending college on an athletic scholarship.
“They bonded over their mutual love of adventure and fitness,’’ the family statement said.
Stephen’s career in international development sent him overseas frequently. Djeswende was often by his side on these far-flung postings.
“Steve’s thirty-plus year career as an international development specialist in service to the world’s most vulnerable through USAID humanitarian projects could not have been made possible without the love, care and support of Wendy who also helped recently-resettled refugees acclimate and thrive in the United States,’’ the family said in the statement.
After Stephen’s retirement, he and Djeswende moved to his hometown of Concord.
“This is a tragedy. It’s something that came out of nowhere,” Concord Police Deputy Chief John Thomas said last week. “We are doing our due diligence, investing all of our resources working with our state and local partners to bring this case was successful resolution.”
Concord police said the couple’s vehicles were “parked in their usual places” and that there was “no known medical history or domestic violence for either person.” Neither of the Reids owned firearms.
Following the discovery of the slain couple, authorities said they do not believe there is an ongoing security threat to the public. Police emphasized that the October 2021 killing of 31-year-old Cody Jewell inside his Alton Woods apartment is not believed to be related to the Reid’s case. That case remains unsolved.
Police cautioned residents to be vigilant and asked all residents in the area near the Broken Ground trails to review video surveillance systems for potential information on the Reids’ disappearance and death.
A spokesman for the office of New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said Monday the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made. No motive has been publicly identified in the killings.
In their statement, the family expressed their appreciation to law enforcement for their “extraordinary efforts over the last week in the investigation of the deaths of our loved ones. ... We ask for your support by providing any information that would be helpful to the ongoing investigation.”
Jeremiah Manion of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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