POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) — Dave Monte was a man dedicated to helping others. He fed the homeless, helped the poor, and volunteered at his church. By all accounts, he always put the needs of others before his own.
“I know that Dave would help anybody,” said his friend Steve Lyons. “He was always willing to volunteer for anything that was asked of anybody,” recalled his pastor Fawn Mikel from Christ Church.
But on an August night two and a half years ago, it looks like someone took advantage of that goodness.
Investigations believe someone came to his Pompano Beach apartment and ambushed him at the door.
“We believe that when he opened the door, that’s where the initial confrontation occurred,” said BSO Homicide Detective Efrain Torres.
Det. Torres figures whoever was at the door that night was probably familiar to Dave, but quickly, it turned into a violent, bloody fight for life that Dave ended up losing. He was beaten to death, his body was moved to the bathroom, out of plain sight, then the killer or killers went to work to hide signs of a murder from anyone who may pass by and look in the window.
“This is what we saw when we first walked in,” said Torres while showing a picture of the crime scene. “The suspect or suspects used several towels or bed sheets that they found to cover the signs of the altercation.”
Dave’s lifeless body was discovered a few days later, when he didn’t show up to drive the truck to deliver meals to the homeless. “It was such a violent crime and you’re thinking for probably one of the most gentle soul’s I’ve ever knew,” said Pastor Mikel. “You’re thinking, man, that’s just not the way it’s supposed to happen.”
Pastor Mikel is baffled by why someone would kill Dave. She, along with detectives, believes that the person who killed Dave was likely someone he knew or was helping, that maybe he met his killer while passing out food to the hungry or helping those down on their luck.
“I believe that somebody learned where he lived, obviously through an earlier interaction, either he befriended that person or assisted that person, brought that person to his residence,” said Det. Torres.
There is a big clue in this mystery. Shortly after Dave was beaten to death, surveillance video captured a man as he tried to use his debit card at a Deerfield Beach Walgreens. “He has a specific walk,” said Det. Torres. “He has a specific way that he wears this clothing. His body structure is very specific. Someone who would see that video would instantly recognize that person.”
Cynics may think Dave sounded too good to be true and that maybe he had secrets that could have brought his killer to his door step. Detectives checked into that and found nothing but a man who had strong conviction, a deep faith, and a willingness to help others, possibly even from the grave.
“I know Dave well enough to know, if anything, he would want us to be able to find the individual,” reflected Pastor Mikel. “Not as a means of persecution, but instead, as a means of being able to provide salvation, to help somebody understand that they are loved and that they can be forgiven.”
If you have any information that could help investigators, call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.