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Story By Robert Muldoon
The Connecticut State Police continue to actively investigate the death of 20-year-old Brianna Beam, pictured above, whose skeletal remains were found in the Campville section of Litchfield in December 2021.
Multiple calls by The Waterbury Observer to the Western District Major Crime Squad of the Connecticut State Police have not been returned. A spokesperson for the State Police told the Observer that detectives will not respond to questions during ongoing investigations, but confirmed they are working the case.
Brianna Beam’s grandmother, Carole Beam, of Texas, has been in contact with State Police detectives, and said that detectives informed her they were interested in obtaining the cell phone of Beam’s former fiancé, Richard Cosgrove, as part of their investigation.
Before the cell phone was obtained, however, Cosgrove, 26, died at his home in Thomaston on June 29th, 2022. The cause of Cosgrove’s death is unknown, Thomaston police said, and the Observer was advised to reach out again in two to three weeks when the autopsy report should be concluded by the Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office.
Brianna Beam and Richard Cosgrove in happier times.
Cosgrove was the former fiancé of Beam, whose skeletal remains were identified by dental records in February. Her body was found near the Naugatuck River in Litchfield, not far from where the bodies of four other Waterbury women have been discovered in the Campville section of Harwinton. State Police have not yet ruled Beam’s death a murder.
Cosgrove had previously been arrested on April 8th, 2021, in a domestic assault in Bristol of a “female victim,” identified as Brianna Beam by her grandmother Carole Beam. In the Bristol Police Incident Report, obtained by the Observer, Cosgrove pushed the “female victim” against the wall, pressed his forearm against her neck, shattered a razor and used the exposed blades to slash her face several times. According to the report, Cosgrove had taken her cell phone when she attempted to call 911.
From the Bristol police report: “Victim was visibly distraught, crying and shaking, and her clothes appeared to be torn. I noticed several scratch marks on Victim’s face as well as marks on her neck. I asked Victim what had happened, and she informed me she and her boyfriend Richard had gotten into an argument…”
Cosgrove fled the Bristol apartment, but the following day the Thomaston Police arrested him and charged him with: Assault in the Second Degree, Unlawful Restraint, Strangulation in the Second Degree, and Interfering with an Emergency Call. He was held by Bristol Police on a $75,000 surety bond.
Richard Cosgrove was 26 years old when he died on June 29th, 2022.
Cosgrove has not been named as a suspect in the murder of Brianna Beam, but his unexpected death will not shut down investigator’s efforts to obtain and inspect his phone. If detectives develop information and evidence that links Cosgrove to Beam’s murder, he will be named as a suspect.
A State Police spokesman confirmed that “the investigation into the death of Brianna Beam is open and ongoing. In the interest of preserving the integrity of this active investigation, updated information has not been authorized for release at this time.”
State police do not have Brianna’s physical cell phone, but according to her grandmother, police obtained phone records from the service provider. State police then completed a map for Brianna based off of her cellphone movement while it was active and still on.
Police developed an excel sheet with all the phone information. State police believe Brianna’s phone was last used September 19th, 2021, three months before her skeletal remains were found in Campville, making her the sixth woman found dead near there.
Previously, the bodies of four other Waterbury women had been found near that spot: Karen Everett, 25, in 1988; Mildred Alvarado, 30, in 1989; Evelyn Bettancourt, 27, in 1993; Jessica Marie Muskus, 22, missing since 2004, but found in 2006.
All of those women reportedly had drug arrests. Only the murder of Bettancourt has been solved, deemed a “copycat killing.” A fifth woman, Frederecia Spinola, 40, of Waterbury, died mysteriously in 1994 after exiting a vehicle at 50 mph on Route 8 near the Campville exit in Harwinton.
Cosgrove’s obituary in the Republican-American had a sub-heading “Waiter, tool and die maker, Boy Scout, played sports.” He was a 2014 graduate of Thomaston High and received a certificate in tool and die making from Naugatuck Valley Community College.
“Richie was a member of Boy Scout Troop 53 and a 2nd degree black belt…He played the flute and participated in many sports. He enjoyed skate boarding, hiking and fishing and loved to cook and come up with his own recipes,” the obituary stated. “He had a fun-loving and caring personality and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
The investigation into the death of Brianna Beam is open and active.