CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man who died in a California prison in 2010 after killing and dismembering his wife also had five other victims, including his toddler daughter and the mother of a girl he raised for several years and then abandoned, New Hampshire authorities said Thursday.
The man was known as Bob Evans in New Hampshire in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but he used multiple names, according to the New Hampshire state police and attorney general's office.
Authorities believe he killed his then-girlfriend Denise Beaudin, who was 23 in 1981 when she and her infant daughter disappeared with Evans from New Hampshire.
The other four victims were a woman and three girls whose bodies were later found in barrels near a New Hampshire state park, they said. Those bodies have not been identified, but based on DNA evidence, authorities believes Evans was the father of one of the girls.
"Normally we start with the identity of our victims and that leads us to the killer," said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin. "Here we are confident we have our killer, now we want to identify these victims."
Beaudin's family did not report her missing at the time, believing she and Evans had left the state due to financial troubles. Authorities now believe he killed Beaudin after leaving New Hampshire, and then raised her daughter until 1986, when he left her with a family at a mobile home park.
The girl, identified only as "Lisa," was later adopted, lives in California and has since been reunited with relatives in New Hampshire. In a statement, she thanked investigators and asked for privacy.
"Currently I have three beautiful children and a loving husband, and would like our presently happy and secure life to remain intact and protected," she said. "Please turn your focus toward the unidentified victims, and other potentially unknown victims in this case."
Evans served about 18 months in jail for abandoning Lisa, but took off as soon as he was paroled in 1990, authorities said. He was on the run for the next 12 years until 2002, when he was arrested for the homicide of Eunsoon Jun in Richmond, California. He was living under the name Lawrence Vanner at the time and had unofficially married Jun in 2001. Her partially dismembered body was found in their basement, buried under cat litter.
Jun's friends told a local newspaper at the time that Evans was haggard and mean-spirited, and they suspected he lied about his background and finances.
Strelzin said Evans fits the profile of a serial killer, and appeared to target women and children, possibly using children as "bait."
"This is a guy who's a chameleon," said Strelzin. "He was very careful about the details he gave other people. ... We're obviously concerned based on what we know about his proclivities that he could have hurt other people."
After Evans' murder conviction, California authorities continued to investigate his relationship to Lisa. DNA testing confirmed he was not her father, and last year, a genetic genealogist helped identify her cousin and grandfather in New Hampshire. That led authorities to conclude that Denise Beaudin was her mother, and given the timing of Beaudin's disappearance, they began exploring whether there was a connection to the unsolved case of the four other bodies.
Police recently searched a Manchester home where Beaudin lived with Evans and her daughter, but found no human remains. Authorities plan to return in the spring to the area in Allenstown where the bodies of the other woman and girls were found in barrels. The landowner was Evans' supervisor at the textile mill where he worked as an electrician. Evans was known to dump material from the mill on the property, and the bodies were tied with electrical cables, authorities said Thursday.
In 1985, a hunter discovered the first two bodies — the woman and a girl believed to be 9 or 10. In 2000, an investigator found the other two girls — one believed to be 2 or 3 and the other 3 or 4. They believe the woman is likely the mother of the eldest and youngest girls. DNA tests show Evans fathered the middle girl. The time of their killings was narrowed to 1980 to 1984.
Strelzin said it's unfortunate that Evans won't be held accountable for the killings, but he hopes the new information will help authorities identify the victims and fill in the gaps regarding Evans' whereabouts before he arrived in New Hampshire and the dozen years he evaded police.
"We're extremely gratified that we've been able to make this progress, now we're hungry for more," he said.
This story has been corrected to delete a reference to authorities saying the additional killings happened in New Hampshire.
Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and AP writer Kathy McCormack in Concord contributed to this story.