Bella Rose Desrosiers, a 7-year-old girl from Edmonton, Canada, had her life cut short by her mother’s “long-time friend” less than a year after she lost her father Ben to suicide, according to CBC. Bella Rose was killed by David Michael Moss, a 34-year-old tattoo artist, in her own bed, just hours after she had drawn a picture of him when he came to visit her mother Melissa in their home.
According to Melissa, Moss was having a personal crisis when he came to visit her home on a Monday night, and she had planned to take him to the hospital after tucking Bella Rose and her 4-year-old sister Lily into bed. Knowing that Moss was distraught, Bella Rose decided to draw a picture of him in an attempt to cheer him up. Her mother said he smiled when he saw it, but hours later, he would kill her.
Melissa had just tucked her girls in bed, told them goodnight, and kissed Bella Rose, when she says Moss allegedly burst into the girl’s room with a pair of scissors and began stabbing the child in her own bed in front of Melissa and Bella’s younger sister. The mother said there was nothing she could do to save her child as she ran out of the room to safety with Lily, Daily Mail reported.
Police were called to the house near 25 Avenue and 43 Street at around 8:45 pm after a report of the stabbing, according to CBC. The last time Melissa saw Moss, he was sitting on her couch, she recalled. When cops arrived, Moss was taken into custody. Bella Rose reportedly died at the scene.
“It was reported that Moss stabbed the child in front of her mother. The mother tried to intervene and attempted CPR until paramedics arrived,” police said in a news release. “The girl was pronounced deceased at the scene,” according to authorities.
Following Bella Rose’s tragic murder, her heartbroken mother spoke publicly about losing her little girl, who played the piano and loved to sing. According to Melissa, Bella Rose “had a huge kind heart that truly enjoyed life, reaching out to do anything she could to make others feel better” just “like her father.”
Melissa and Ben had been married for nine years when he took his life just months before Bella’s murder. Following his death, Melissa filled her Facebook page with posts about mental health and suicide. She also described Bella Rose as “very resilient, very strong” and credited the seven-year-old with helping her through her husband’s death.
“Her soul was beautiful, true, and unique,” Melissa said, adding that Bella Rose was known in her neighborhood for setting up a fancy lemonade stand outside their home to raise money for the Stollery Children’s Hospital. “She will always be remembered as the lemonade stand girl,” the grieving mother said.
After an autopsy confirmed Bella Rose Desrosiers’ cause of death, David Michael Moss — who has no prior convictions, is reportedly married with four kids of his own, and described as a family man — was charged with second-degree murder for the fatal stabbing. According to CBC, Moss had launched his own tattoo business with his wife, but it was shut down during the COVID crisis of 2020. The father-of-four then fell “really behind on bills,” according to a Frank Urbanovitch, a fellow tattoo artist and friend.
“This is not David. This is not the David I knew,” Urbanovitch said. “I could tell he was slowly slipping and he was venting about his stress, but I didn’t know this is where it would end up,” he added. Obviously, neither did Melissa, who just wanted to get her friend some help. Sadly, her efforts put Bella Rose in the crosshairs of Moss’s mental illness.