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'Bear Brook' Break: How Victims In Decades-Long Cold Case Were Identified

photographs of the three murder victims
New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, courtesy
Authorities have identified Marlyse Honeychurch and her two children, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn (center) and Sarah Lynn McWaters, as three of the four victims found in two barrels in Allenstown, New Hampshire.

In 1985 and 2000, two barrels containing four bodies were found just outside of Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire. In 2019, the identities of three of those victims were finally revealed. Vermont Edition spoke with Jason Moon, a reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio and host of the podcast Bear Brook, about the latest findings in the gruesome murders and the decades-long effort to identify the victims.

The Brea Brook case is one of New Hampshire's most notorious cold-case murders. But in 2017, a new forensic DNA testing technique revealed the killer: Terry Rasmussen.

Now, investigators have confirmed three of the four victims to be Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch and her two daughters, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn and Sarah Lynn McWaters.

The fourth body remains unidentified, but has been genetically identified as Rasmussen's daughter.

Moon talked about the latest discovery in the Bear Brook case and how genetic genealogy technology provided answers to the case's most pressing question.

Broadcast live on Monday, June 17, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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