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Woman conspired to kill mother with a man online she had never met in person, police say

Roxanne Reed
Roxanne Reed CCBI

Police say a Garner woman conspired to kill her mother and stole thousands of dollars from family members and a friend after she became involved in apparent online romance scams with two men she never actually met in person.

Roxanne Reed, 66, was charged last month with felony conspiracy to commit murder. She was charged in August with one felony count of identity theft and three felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, according to records filed with the City County Bureau of Identification.

Investigators accused Reed of conspiring with an online person going by the name of “Scott Humpal” or “Scott Humple” to kill her mother.

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One of the accused woman’s family members called the police in August after finding that Reed’s phone contained messages where she discussed poisoning her mother to get $20,000 from a life insurance policy.

Officers seized the phone, and Reed was taken for a psychiatric evaluation. The investigators later reviewed the phone messages between Reed and Humple in search warrant applications made public Thursday at the Wake County clerk’s office.

“Throughout the thread of messages between the two, Ms. Reed mentions ‘the plan’ or ‘the job,’” Garner Det. Amy Miller reported in the search warrant.

The detective said Reed and Humple first planned to use poison to kill her mother.

“Poison it will be unless I can think of something else Baby,” Reed wrote.

“What will you get poisoned?” Humple wrote back to her. “Coffee?”

Reed responded, “Good idea.”

Humple suggested that Reed give her mother a poisoned cup of coffee before bed, but the Garner woman said they would use water.

They then discussed other methods of poisoning the mother. Humple suggested arsenic, because it “is colorless and tasteless.”

Reed promised she would if arsenic could be purchased at Agra Supplies, Amazon or eBay. Reed also cut and pasted an online advertisement for a “Potassium/Sodium Cyanide Solution.”

The thread ended with Humple telling Reed to get her mother’s death certificate after she was dead, get the $20,000 life insurance and contact her mother’s broker.

“They then have a discussion about what banks to use,” Miller stated in the search warrant.

Reed told the detective she sent the messages to Humple, but that she meant no harm to her mother.

“She said she was just talking with Mr. Humple and since he is ‘not real,’ she didn’t think anything of it.”

Reed told the police she had never met Humple.

Reed first came to the police’s attention in late July, when family members said she was involved in a romance scam and sending money to a man she had never met.

She told police she had used her authority as power of attorney over a friend, and took out a $5,000 cash advance from his credit card and a $7,000 check from an account. She also took out loans using her mother and son’s personal information.

Reed told investigators she was sending money and gift cards to a man named “Michael Mascaro,” who she had met on Facebook. Mascaro told her he was in India and wanted her to send iTunes gift cards for his teen daughter. Reed also sent money over a period of months to Mascaro, who told her his daughter was in the hospital.

Reed mentioned that Mascaro used a photo on his Facebook page that she found on the internet to be a person named “Scott Humple.” When Reed confronted Mascaro, she said he told her he would send her his real picture before he flew to India.

“She then started another online romance with a ‘Scott Humple’ she located on Instagram,” Miller, the Garner detective, reported.

“She believes she is married to Scott, however, she has never met either of these men in person,” Miller stated. “She also claimed that she has never spoken to Scott Humple over the telephone.”

Investigators used the search warrants to seize data from Reed’s Apple iPad, Motorola cell phone, home and VW Jetta. Police seized a composition book found in the living room of her home, a checkbook and credit card that belonged to one of the victims, a laptop computer and paperwork.

Reed remains in custody at the Wake County jail. She is being held in lieu of a $690,000 bail, a jail spokesman reported Thursday night.

Thomasi McDonald is a veteran journalist who writes about crime and public safety issues.


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