ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York mother and daughter whose bodies were found in different states and remained unidentified for 19 years were killed by a close relative who is now in custody and will face murder charges, authorities said Wednesday.
Seventy-year-old Robert Honsch, of Dalton, Ohio, faces murder charges in the death of his wife, whose body was found in Massachusetts in 1995, and the death of her teenage daughter, who was found dead in Connecticut that same year.
Authorities allege Honsch shot 53-year-old Marcia Honsch in the head. Her body was found by a hiker in October 1995 near an entrance to Tolland State Forest in western Massachusetts. A week earlier, the body of a young female was found in a parking area behind a strip mall in New Britain, Connecticut. She also had been shot in the head.
New Britain, Connecticut, police said Wednesday they and Massachusetts State Police have separate arrest warrants charging Honsch with murder. He was being held in Wooster, Ohio, and is expected to be arraigned there Thursday before being moved to Massachusetts.
It could not immediately be determined Wednesday if Honsch has a lawyer.
Neither body had identifying information, but examination of clothing and other items found at the scenes suggested they were from New York. Several rounds of DNA testing determined they were mother and daughter, but they remained unidentified until a woman from Virginia Beach, Virginia, contacted New York state police in June looking for relatives unaccounted for since 1995.
Troopers began a missing-persons investigation into the disappearance of a mother and daughter from the New York City suburb of Brewster, and collaboration with authorities in Massachusetts and Connecticut determined the victims were Marcia Honsch and her daughter Elizabeth, who was 16 when she was killed.
They had last lived in Brewster with Robert Honsch. Authorities said Robert Honsch was found living under an assumed name with his current wife and children and was interviewed at his Ohio home before taken into custody on a murder charge Tuesday. Authorities said examination of items found near Elizabeth Honsch’s body connected him to the scene.