Clegg trial: Police detail the early search for Steve and Wendy Reid and their grim discovery

By JAMIE L. COSTA

Monitor staff

Published: 10-04-2023 5:36 PM

Peter Reid last heard from his brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Wendy Reid, on the morning of April 18, 2022, when he declined their invitation to take a walk through the woods on the Broken Ground trails.

When Steve Reid didn’t show up for a doubles tennis match two days later, Peter Reid grew concerned and contacted their sister, Susan Forey, a retired major in the New Hampshire State Police who investigated major crimes in the state throughout her career. 

On Wednesday, Forey was the first witness called to testify against Logan Clegg, the man accused of murdering the Reids last spring. Clegg is facing four charges of second-degree murder, four charges of falsifying physical evidence and one count of a being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces life in prison. 

“Peter went to their apartment to check on them and got no response and then he reached out to me as he was growing more concerned,” Forey said. “When I went there myself, I saw that both their cars were there and I went to the manager and asked to be let into the apartment. I saw that their personal belongings were in the apartment and I believed something was wrong.”

In response to her observations, Forey began contacting friends and family in an attempt to track their whereabouts. When she learned they hadn’t been seen or heard from for two days, she contacted the State Police on April 20, 2022, to report them missing. 

That night around 6 p.m., New Hampshire State Trooper James Powers, a certified canine handler, arrived at the Alton Woods apartment complex off Loudon Road where the couple lived to assist the Concord Police Department in a search. 

“We did a hasty search of the area since we had no start point and we were just looking for missing people at the time,” Powers testified. “We searched areas of probability east of the Alton Woods complex where we came across a male subject in a tent there that identified himself as Arthur Kelly.”

The name Arthur Kelly was one of many aliases used by Clegg. When asked if he’d seen the couple in the area, Clegg told police he had not seen anyone as he’d just arrived that morning from Boston, despite a pile of nearly 20 Mountain Dew cans found outside his tent. The site, which was set back about seven yards from the wood line behind the complex, was about a four to five-minute walk from the Reids’ apartment in building 14. 

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“We provided his name to dispatch but nothing came back and when we engaged with the male a little bit more to see if he was out of a different state, he said he’d just come up from Boston but when we ran his name out of Massachusetts, nothing came back,” testified Concord Police Officer Kristieann Desilvio. “We left the area shortly after because he did not want to speak to police anymore, but we were taking it very seriously because they had already been missing for two days.”

That night, New Hampshire State Trooper Brett Barry received a request to search the area the next morning with his dog, Oakley, who is trained to detect cadavers.

On the morning of April 21, 2022, alongside other canine handlers, Oakley and Barry were given their search locations and instructions to sweep the designated areas in search of the Reids. With little hope of finding them alive, the handlers and their cadaver dogs started their search of the woods and cleared areas one by one without luck. 

Unsuccessful in their search that morning, police checked the location of one of the Reids’ cell phones and saw it was pinging from an area less than half a mile from their home off the Marsh Loop Trail. 

“I gave Oakley a search command and it wasn’t more than ten minutes of searching before I noticed her head snap and she started toward the base of a tree. She got to a pile of leaves at the base of the tree and as I walked closer, her head went into the pile and she tensed,” Barry said. “I put my hand on her back and as I looked, I saw what appeared to be the back of a human skull.”

Barry immediately alerted fellow officers of his findings and left the scene. The investigation was then taken over by detectives from the Concord Police Department, including Nicole Murray, Wade Brown and Danika Gorham. 

“We understood it was a crime scene that needed to be addressed in a timely manner. The sun was setting, rain was forecasted for the evening. We put a tent up over the recovery site because we wanted to preserve any evidence that might be there and we began to process,” Murray said. “We didn’t want to disturb what was underneath. It was a slow process and as carefully as we could, we went layer by layer over the area.”

As the detectives continued to process the scene, they uncovered Steve and Wendy’s bodies and took photos of what they saw, including their gunshot wounds, which were shown to jurors Wednesday.  

“It was clear to us when we left that night that where we found them was likely a secondary location and perhaps there was another area of focus that was not apparent to us at that time and we wanted to continue searching the area,” Murray said. 

The following morning, Murray met with officers from New Hampshire Fish & Game and their ballistics dogs to further comb the area around the recovery scene where police found coagulated blood on leaves, bullet fragments, shell casings and ripped pieces of clothing. 

Four days later on April 26, 2022, detectives Murray and Brown returned to the Marsh Loop Trail where they encountered three men walking their dogs. One of the men reported seeing a burnt tent site and burned propane tanks off the main trail in the woods. It turned out to be the same tent site where police had encountered Clegg days earlier when he identified himself as Arthur Kelly.

Murray will continue  her testimony Thursday.

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