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So far, 91 interviews have been conducted in the investigation.



Published: Thu, June 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



So far, 91 interviews have been conducted in the investigation.

A $25,000 reward for new information in the Ohio Turnpike shooting death of Dr. Gulam Moonda of Hermitage is being offered by family, friends and colleagues.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has established a tip line at (866) 678-8477. Investigators encourage anyone with information to call the tip line, not the patrol's district headquarters in Berea.

The tip line will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice. Investigators are looking for new information. The case is also being investigated by Pennsylvania State Police.

The $25,000 reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the reported roadside robbery-homicide that took place around 6:30 p.m. May 13. The location was close to milepost 164 westbound in North Royalton near Cleveland.

Donations to the privately established reward fund will be accepted only through First National Bank, One FNB Boulevard, Hermitage, Pa.

The shooting

Moonda, a 69-year-old urologist at Sharon Regional Health System, had been traveling to Toledo with his wife, Donna Smouse Moonda, 46, and mother-in-law, Dorothy Smouse, 74.

Donna Moonda was driving the doctor's gold 2000 Jaguar. She pulled to the side of the road so they could switch drivers. He was shot after turning over cash to a lone gunman who reportedly pulled up behind the Jaguar in a dark-colored van.

So far, investigators have conducted 91 interviews.

Alleged affair

A week ago, police took DNA samples from the widow and obtained the couple's prenuptial agreement. Police wanted to compare samples from Donna Moonda's cheeks with DNA samples previously taken from the apartment of a man she had been involved with and whom police have called a "person of interest," according to court documents.

Police said they found three towels, a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt with suspected bloodstains in the apartment of 23-year-old Damian Bradford of Monaca. Bradford and Donna Moonda met at a drug rehabilitation program and were having an affair, according to police.

They said she rented him an apartment in Beaver County and bought him clothes and expensive gifts. Whoever shot Gulam Moonda likely had his clothing splattered by Moonda's blood, according to the search warrant affidavit. The application also said that Bradford told police the blood on the towels was from Donna Moonda's menstrual cycle and that the blood on the sweat pants and shirt were his from a motorcycle accident.

Bradford, who has not been charged in the doctor's death, is being held in the Lawrence County jail on a probation violation charge.

Police said they also found steroids, hypodermic needles and equipment used to package drugs in Bradford's apartment. He admitted he was selling cocaine "to make ends meet," police said in court papers.

A troubled marriage

Investigators also obtained a copy of the Moondas' prenuptial agreement. Donna Moonda had told people she wanted a divorce and stood to gain $3 million to $4 million in a divorce, according to police. Also, she stood to gain at least $1.2 million from his death, according to police.

Gulam Moonda left his family about 40 years ago to come to the United States for the medical training he couldn't get in India. Settling in rural western Pennsylvania, he started a successful urology practice. He met and married Donna Smouse, a hometown woman more than 20 years younger.

Small-town life seemed to be good to the doctor, but last year, things started to unravel when his wife was convicted of stealing drugs from a hospital and ordered into a rehabilitation program.

The doctor's death has exposed a deeply troubled marriage.

Donna Moonda, a nurse anesthetist, pleaded no contest in August to stealing the painkiller fentanyl from UPMC Horizon hospital in nearby Greenville, where she was working.

According to police records, Donna Moonda acknowledged she was abusing the painkiller. As part of her sentence, she was ordered to go to drug rehab near Pittsburgh where police say she met Bradford.




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