Twelve years ago, 40-year-old Janet Reginato, was the night manager of the Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon in Lexington Park. While Janet was closing the restaurant, two men, one of whom was an employee of the same restaurant, entered the building to commit a robbery. During the robbery, Janet was shot and killed by 21-year-old Richard Moore and a 15-year-old male. The murder, left Nicholas Reginato, then a 16-year-old boy, without a mother and devastated.

Nicholas, (Nick), recently sent an email to Captain Steve Hall who was a detective supervisor at the time of the murder and investigated the case along with, (then), Detective Corporal Chip Koch of the Maryland State Police. Both were members of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations in 2005. Nick graciously thanked Captain Hall for the profound impact he had on him. Nick and Captain Hall were happy to allow us to share their email exchange with the citizens we serve.

“I want to start by saying thank you. I am not sure if you remember me, but you worked my mom’s case. It’s been a long time, but I still bring you and Detective Cook [Koch] up a lot in conversation; hence why I am sending you this email. I am sure you guys don’t get a lot of good news, so I have some for you. I am married to an amazing woman, whom my mom always loved. I have two amazing kids ages two and four. You helped me so much that day and subsequently afterward; I got my life together after all the stuff that happened. I graduated high school and then trade school and worked as a mechanic for a number of years. Now I teach people with disabilities how to work in the automotive field. I digress, but I wrote this email mostly to thank you for helping a 16-year-old kid after his whole life was stripped away from him.” –Nick Reginato.

Captain Hall’s reply –

This is one of the most amazing emails I’ve ever received! I think of you, your granddad, and mom often…I never doubted you would bring credit and pride to your family. I truly believe that when the potential in your DNA is fulfilled, the universe sings along with all of our loved ones, both physically present and not. We are so very proud of you and thank you so much for the message – it means everything.”

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...