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INVESTIGATION Evidence found in Moonda slaying



Published: Sat, June 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Some of the items found belonged to the doctor, the state patrol said.

STAFF/WIRE REPORTS

YOUNGSTOWN -- Evidence linked to the Ohio Turnpike shooting death of Dr. Gulam Moonda was found Friday roughly 12 miles from the crime scene, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Moonda, a well-known urologist from Hermitage, Pa., was killed May 13 near milepost 164 in North Royalton. He was shot in the head when he got out of his 2000 Jaguar after his wife, Donna, pulled it over to change drivers. The crime was reported as a roadside robbery, with the assailant driving a dark-colored van.

Some of the items found Friday belonged to Moonda, and investigators think the suspect traveled eastbound on Interstate 80 at some time after the shooting, the patrol said. The type of evidence found was not disclosed.

To date, more than 100 interviews have been conducted and 67 calls have been made to the toll-free tip line. Anyone with new information is urged to call (866) 678-8477.

A $25,000 reward tied to the tip line was established by Moonda's family and friends and community members. Donations are being accepted only through First National Bank, 1 FNB Blvd., Hermitage, PA 16148.

While no one has been charged in the crime, investigators in Ohio and Pennsylvania say they are making progress.

No bond reduction

In a related matter Thursday, a Beaver County, Pa., judge declined to reduce the bond for Damian Bradford, 23, who is being called a person of interest in the Moonda investigation.

Pennsylvania State Police said they found illegal steroids last month while searching Bradford's apartment in Center Township, Beaver County, for evidence in the shooting.

Bradford had been held on a $50,000 bond on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities also got a detainer to keep him in jail, even if he made bail, because he allegedly violated his probation for drug possession.

His attorney, James Ecker, had asked for a bond reduction, arguing it was excessive and was steep only because he has been named as a "person of interest."

The judge refused to reduce Bradford's bail or lift the retainer because of the new charges.

State police said Bradford sold cocaine on May 13, the day the doctor was shot, and the following day. Investigators said they tracked down buyers with Bradford's cell phone, which was seized during a search of his apartment.

An informant told state police that Bradford sold $150 in cocaine each day.

Moonda's 46-year-old wife and Bradford had a relationship, and she planned to divorce her husband in hopes of obtaining a $3 million to $4 million settlement, police said in search warrant affidavits.

Attorneys for Bradford and Donna Moonda have said their clients weren't involved in the doctor's death.




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