Two Bear Brook Murder Victims Laid to Rest in Allenstown
Two victims in the Bear Brook murders case were laid to rest at a funeral in Allenstown on Saturday.
Marlyse Honeychurch and Marie Vaughn were found murdered just outside Bear Brook State Park in 1985. Despite the efforts of investigators, their identities went unknown for more than 30 years.
Police were able to finally announce their identities earlier this year, thanks to genetic genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter and amateur investigator Becky Heath, who each provided key information.
The funeral was a reflection of that decades-long investigation and the widespread media attention the case has recently attracted.
Multiple camera crews hovered nearby as relatives of both the victims and the likely perpetrator shared emotional embraces.
The funeral brought together a number of people who were involved with the investigation over the years, from amateur investigators who helped raise the profile of the case, to a state trooper who discovered a third and fourth victim in 2000.
“Our gratitude goes out to each and everyone involved and everything everyone has done for us to find them,” said Dave Salamon, brother of Marlyse Honeychurch. “Although this moment is bittersweet, they have their names back on this day. They can rest in peace.”
The event also drew dozens of people like Keith Hill from Derry. While not directly connected to the case, Hill said he felt compelled to come see the burial.
“I saw on the news that they were going to have this service, and I thought that nobody would show,” said Hill, “and I’m glad I was wrong.”
The remains were interred at the same grave site where they were once buried in 1987. The original headstone stated that their names are "known only to God." As of Saturday, a new headstone sits in front of the original bearing the names Marlyse Honeychurch and Marie Vaughn.
The remains of another victim in the case, Sara McWaters, were released to family in September.
A fourth victim in the case remains unidentified.
Authorities believe Terry Peder Rasmussen was responsible for the Bear Brook murders. He is the father of the unidentified victim. Rasmussen died in 2010 while serving a prison sentence for a separate murder.