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Bristol County MA DA: Man with lengthy New York record identified as killer of Rhode Island man



Claudio Jorge

Bristol County MA District Attorney Thomas Quinn’s Cold Case Unit has identified the killer of a 20-year-old Newport, RI man, who was gunned down at the Brickenwood Housing Project in New Bedford on October 25, 1991.

The killer has now been positively identified as Claudio Jorge. The chief suspect in the 1991 slaying of Brent Davis has also been confirmed as being deceased. Jorge was killed in the Dominican Republic in 2006 while being robbed. He was 40 years old at the time of his killing.

As part of District Attorney Quinn’s Cold Case Unit, Katherine Sullivan, a Massachusetts State Police Trooper assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office, began investigating the 1991 homicide of Brent David in the fall of 2020. At the time of the 19991 homicide, witnesses to the shooting identified the suspect as an individual named “Bobby.” Investigators at the time created a sketch composite of the suspect and were able to identify two relatives of the suspect who were living in New Bedford. Those relatives claimed “Bobby” was also known as “Reynaldo Suriel” and that he was from New York City.

Attempts to locate this individual were unsuccessful. The case then went cold, and no arrest was made.

As part of her recent follow up investigation, Trooper Sullivan determined that “Reynaldo Suriel” was likely an alias, and that the identity of “Bobby” was still unknown.

After reviewing the 1991 reports, Trooper Sullivan located several individuals who either witnessed the shooting or were associated with the suspect “Bobby.” Some of those individuals were subsequently interviewed.

As a result of those interviews, investigators learned that Davis had only been staying in New Bedford for a few days prior to his murder in 1991. Investigators further learned that the homicide was the result of a drug distribution dispute, that “Bobby” was originally from the Dominican Republic and that he fled the city immediately after the killing of Davis.

Another key witness admitted to investigators that he sold cocaine with “Bobby” at the time and that “Bobby” came to his girlfriend’s apartment immediately after the homicide. Once inside the apartment, “Bobby” stated that Davis was dead and that he needed to get out of town. A second key witness corroborate the previous witness’ statements and said “Bobby” committed the homicide.

As the investigation heated up, Trooper Sullivan, joined by another Trooper from the State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and a New York Police Detective, made contact with the close relative of the suspect who had also previously resided in New Bedford. That close relative said “Bobby,” also known as “Reynaldo Suriel,” was actually Claudio Jorge and that he had been killed in the Domician Republic in 2006. The close relative provided photographs of Jorge to investigators, which were a match to the composite sketch produced in 1991. The close relative also provided further information to investigators, which showed that “Bobby” was in fact Claudio Jorge and that Claudio Jorge has shot and killed Davis in 1991.

The DA’s Office acquired criminal records for Claudio Jorge and records from the US Marshals and the New York Police Department. Jorge had a lengthy criminal record with narcotics and weapons offenses. Jorge was incarcerated in New York in 1983 for an armed robbery and a shooting, and again in incarcerated in 1988 for narcotics and weapons offenses. The records further showed that Jorge was not incarcerated on October 25, 1991, but was arrested in 1992 in New York and was subsequently deported to the Dominican Republic in 1998.

Subsequently, an NYPD Dominican Republic Liaison detective visited the Jorge family residence in La Vega, Dominican Republic and spoke with Jorge’s aunt, who stated Jorge was deceased and provided an obituary card from 2006.

Following the confirmed identification of Claudio Jorge as “Bobby,” Trooper Sullivan presented two witnesses in the Davis homicide case with photographs of Jorge. Both witnesses stated with certainty that Jorge was the person known as “Bobby” and that he shot Davis.

Trooper Sullivan located Brent Davis’ mother in Newport, Rhode Island and informed her that investigators had positively identified the individual responsible for her son’s murder and that he was deceased.

The DA’s Office stated that at this point, all investigatory avenues have been exhausted to confirm that Claudio Jorge committed the homicide by firearm of Brent Davis on October 25, 1991, and Jorge is deceased. The cold case has now officially been closed.

“I’m very pleased with the efforts of our Cold Case Unit,that after further investigation, has led to the identification of Claudio Jorge as the individual who murdered Brent Davis in 1991. This case further shows our office does not give up on solving cold cases and will continue to put resources into investigations of cold case homicides,” DA Quinn said. “I’d like to thank Trooper Kate Sullivan for her efforts in the case that brought closure to the victim’s family after all these years.”

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