A 70-year-old man living in Ohio under an assumed name was arrested this week for the 1995 murder of his wife and their teenage daughter.
A collaboration between investigators in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York discovered Robert Honsch living in Dalton, Ohio, under the name Robert Tyree. His arrest closed a 19-year double homicide case in New Britain, Connecticut.
Honsch’s wife, 53-year-old Marcia Honsch, and their daughter, 17-year-old Elizabeth Honsch were found dead in 1995. Marcia was shot in the head and her body dumped in Tolland State Forest in Massachusetts. Elizabeth was also shot in the head. Her body was found wrapped in trash bags and a sleeping bag behind a shopping plaza in New Britain. Both their remains were badly decomposed.
Although DNA linked the pair and investigators knew they were likely mother and daughter, they didn’t learn their names until last month.
Last month, relatives in New York reported their suspicion that Robert Honsch, now living in Ohio, was responsible for the disappearance of Marcia and Elizabeth two decades earlier. New York police contacted Massachusetts and Connecticut investigators and provided them with a picture of Elizabeth which appeared in her Brewster High School yearbook.
Investigator Peter Ciacci watched a news story about the 1995 case on YouTube, which showed a police recreation of what the teen would have looked like.
“I said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s her,’” New Britain Police Chief James P. Wardwell said. “My heart stopped. I recognized her immediately. There was just no question in my mind. I’ve seen her [photo] so many times.”
Honsch was charged with being a fugitive from justice in Wayne County Court on Thursday. He was ordered to be held up to 30 days while Massachusetts prepares an extradition request.
Tyree was located in Ohio living with a new wife and family.
“The case was never put on the shelf. We pulled out all the stops,” Wardwell told the Boston Globe.
Honsch will be transported to Massachusetts to be arraigned in Westfield District Court for the murder of Marcia Honsch and then arraigned in Connecticut for the murder of Elizabeth Honsch, officials said Wednesday.
Image credit: New Britain Police Department