Officials identify 3 of 4 victims discovered in barrels near Bear Brook State Park

  • Bob Evans 1985 booking photo in California Courtesy

  • This 1973 booking photo, originally made by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Phoenix, shows Terry Peder Rasmussen. Rasmussen, known locally as Bob Evans, died in a California prison in 2010 while serving a 15-year to life sentence for the murder of a California woman. Courtesy

  • Bob Evans in parole photo from 1990. Courtesy

  • New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin shows a slide of the three identified victims, Marlyse Honeychurch (left) and her daughters Marie Elizabeth Vaughn and Sarah Lynn McWaters at a press conference at the Department of Safety auditorium on Thursday, June 6, 2019 in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin in front of photos of Terry Peder Rasmussen at the news conference at the Department of Safety auditorium in Concord on Thursday, June 6, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/6/2019 5:33:36 PM

The identification of a woman and her two daughters – found dead in a pair of barrels 15 years apart in Allenstown – partially ended a mystery that had stumped police since the first two victims were discovered in 1985.

Associate Attorney General Jeff Strelzin was joined Thursday by state police and the FBI at the Division of Motor Vehicles offices, where authorities said DNA testing had finally revealed the identities of three of the four females found near Bear Brook State Park.

Found dead in November of 1985 were Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch, a Connecticut native born in 1954, and one of her daughters, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn of Artesia, Calif., who was born in 1971.

The other barrel, found about 100 yards from the first one in May of 2000, contained the body of another of Honeychurch’s daughters, Sara Lynn McWaters, who was born in 1977 in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. The other girl found in that barrel has not been identified, but authorities say she was the daughter of Terry Rasmussen, a man of many aliases who police say killed all four.

Rasmussen had been identified as the killer through DNA testing in July of 2017. He was dead by then, having died in prison in 2010 after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend, Eunsoon Jun, in California in 2003. Jun’s body was found under a pile of kitty litter in the couple’s basement.

The bizarre circumstances of the case kept the news in the public’s conscious as officials tried to connect the dots, while also pushing it into the background after decades of mystery left the sense that answers – the identities of the four females found in the two barrels and the man who killed them – would never be discovered.

Rasmussen had gone by numerous aliases, both before and after the Bear Brook State Park murders. He was known as Gordon Jenson, Curtis May Kimball, Lawrence William Vanner and Gerry Mockerman before the authorities used cutting-edge DNA technology to learn the killer’s true identity.

They learned that Rasmussen was born in Colorado in 1943, grew up and attended school in Arizona, served in the Navy during the 1960s and moved to California in 1970.

On Thanksgiving day in La Puente, Calif., in 1978, Honeychurch got into an argument with her mother and left with her two daughters –Vaughn and McWaters – and Rasmussen, never to be seen by her family again.

They moved to New Hampshire, where Rasmussen worked at Waumbec Mills in Manchester. In 1981, 23-year-old Denise Beaudin of Goffstown and her 6-month-old daughter went missing, accompanying Rasmussen back to California. That was four years before the first barrel was found.

Beaudin is presumed dead, killed by Rasmussen, who abandoned her daughter in 1986. Her search for her mother through an online DNA registry led police to New Hampshire and helped them connect Beaudin with Rasmussen.

Questions, however, remain. What happened to Beaudin and where is she? Who’s the mother of Rasmussen’s daughter, found in the second barrel in 2000, and where is she?

Police believe both women are dead, killed by Rasmussen.

At the conclusion of the 75-minute press conference, unidentified family members of the Bear Brook victims, sitting in a reserved section at the front of the auditorium, filed out quickly, declining to comment.​

None were from New Hampshire, Strelzin of the AG’s office said, adding that the family members requested their home states not be revealed.

“Some were from out west and they traveled a great distance to be here,” Strelzin said.

A statement representing the group read:

“On behalf of our families, we would like to thank everyone who has spent decades tirelessly working to identify our loved ones. This day comes with heavy hearts. Marlyse, Marie and Sarah were so loved by our families and they are greatly missed. We take solace in finally having the answers we have longed for.

“During this difficult time, we are asking for privacy as we process the events that have unfolded over the past week.”

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304 or rduckler@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @rayduckler.)


Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy