WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — More than 25 years after Germaine Mouchon was raped and murdered in her West Warwick home, her killer was sent to prison for life.
The 85-year-old woman’s killer, David Roscoe, may never have been brought to justice if it hadn’t been for her grandson. In 2015, a quarter-century after her death, Richard Mouchon found his grandmother’s death certificate.
It listed her cause of death as a homicide.
“It was just a shock, finding out it was a murder case,” Mouchon said Friday at Roscoe’s sentencing. “Instead of her dying of natural causes.”
It had been Richard himself who found his grandmother’s body after her death, but he said his father – who has since passed away – shielded him and his siblings from the gruesome details and the murder investigation.
After the discovery of the death certificate, Mouchon went to the West Warwick police to inquire about his grandmother’s murder. He learned that the 1990 case had gone cold after police followed several leads and interviewed witnesses.
Detective Thomas Nye decided to call the Department of Health.
“The Department of Health found the rape kit,” Assistant Attorney General Jay Sullivan said at Roscoe’s sentencing. “The kit was still sealed and in good condition.”
DNA testing was much better than it had been back in 1990. A search in the DNA database got a hit: David Roscoe. He was in the system because he was a convicted child molester.
Roscoe underwent a trial for murder and first-degree sexual assault in September, and was convicted by a jury. Friday, Judge Brian Stern sentenced him to a life sentence on each charge.
“The dangers to society of having you walk the streets even one more day are just too great,” Stern said. Roscoe was given a chance to address the court, but chose not to.
Germaine Mouchon’s granddaughter, Robin Mouchon Foley, read a victim-impact statement about her grandmother, saying she was a wonderful mother who loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“26 years ago her life was suddenly taken by a violent, random encounter with a total stranger,” she said. “My grandmother was not ready to leave this life on August 4, 1990. Her only daughter, Alice, was scheduled to have major surgery for cancer the following week.”
Outside court, Mouchon Foley said she refused to say the name of her grandmother’s killer.
“He’s not a person to me,” she said. “He’s an animal.”
Judge Stern praised Richard Mouchon for seeking answers, despite the long passage of time.
“I want the world to know clearly and unequivocally, that if you and your family had not pursued your grandmother’s killer…this rapist and murderer would never be held to account to his actions. Because of your actions, he will never hurt anyone else; adult or child.”
The family encouraged others to continue to look for answers to cold cases.
“If you’re still waiting to find someone that’s hurt someone that you love, go back and ask,” Mouchon Foley said.