Authorities ID 3 bodies linked to suspected killer

Michael Pezone/The Concord Monitor via APNew Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery 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 in Concord. 

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire authorities identified three victims of a now-deceased man suspected of killing at least six women and children decades ago, including his toddler daughter.

The bodies of a woman and three children were found in two barrels near a New Hampshire state park in 1985 and 2000.

The state attorney general’s office confirmed Thursday that the woman was 24-year-old Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch. Her two daughters, 6-year-old Marie Elizabeth Vaughn and 1-year-old Sarah Lynn McWaters, also were identified.

The body of another girl found in a barrel hasn’t been identified yet and isn’t believed to be related to them. Authorities believe Terry Peder Rasmussen is responsible for all four of the deaths and that the unidentified body is his daughter’s. Rasmussen died in a California prison in 2010. Attempts to reach relatives of Rasmussen have been unsuccessful.

New Hampshire State Police Col. Christopher Wagner said at a press conference that the relatives of Honeychurch “are the ones who have been suffering over the 33-plus years with loss of the loved ones.”

Several relatives appeared at the press conference but didn’t speak publicly.

“The day comes with a heavy hearts,” they said in a released statement. “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.”

Honeychurch and Rasmussen knew one another but the extent of their relationship was unknown by authorities.

The announcement is the latest in the case of Rasmussen, a Navy veteran who went by five names and moved most of his life. He went by Bob Evans in New Hampshire and Lawrence Vanner in California, but authorities said that his real name was Terry Peder Rasmussen.

In 1981, Rasmussen was living with girlfriend Denise Beaudin and her 6-month-old daughter, Dawn, in Manchester, New Hampshire. All three disappeared that year, but Beaudin’s family never reported her missing because they believed the couple left town because of money troubles.

Although her body has not been found, authorities believe Rasmussen killed Beaudin somewhere between New Hampshire and California.

In 1986, Rasmussen abandoned the baby, whom he called Lisa, and fled. He later served about 18 months in jail for child abandonment but took off after being paroled in 1990, authorities said.

In 2003, he was convicted of killing Eunsoon Jun, whom he had married two years earlier in an unofficial ceremony in Richmond, California. Her partially dismembered body was found in their basement, buried under cat litter.