‘The Middle Child’ Documentary Examines The Jane Doe Child In ‘Bear Brook Murders’ Cold Case – Oxygen

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While three of the four victims found in barrels in the “Bear Brook Murders” case have been identified — and police believe they were all murdered by convicted killer Terry Peder Rasmussen — there is one little girl who still needs her name back.

By Gina Tron

Jane Doe2000 Photo: NCMEC

An independent New Hampshire station’s new documentary explores the mysterious and frustrating journey to give the victim of an infamous New Hampshire case her name back.

New Hampshire outlet WMUR has created a documentary called “The Middle Child,” available to watch in full on their website. It focuses on the remaining unidentified victim of the “Bear Brook Murders,” which involved four sets of remains, initially unidentified, discovered in barrels in New Hampshire. 

The bodies of a woman and three girls were found in two barrels at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire 15 years apart. The first two bodies were found stuffed in a barrel in 1985; the other two were found in another barrel in the same area in 2000. All remained unidentified for decades, their killer unpunished. 

In 2019, three of the four victims were identified through DNA testing and genetic genealogy: Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch, 24, and her two daughters, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn, 6, and Sarah Lynn McWaters, 1.

While the fourth girl remains unidentified, investigators believe that she was the biological daughter of Terry Peder Rasmussen — who they now believe killed all four people — and an unidentified mother.

Rasmussen passed away while in prison in 2010 while serving time for murdering a California woman.

Sarah Lynn McWaters, Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch and Marie Elizabeth Vaughn Photo: New Hampshire State Attorney’s Office

The identity of the little girl remains unknown.

A sketch of what she might have looked like has been created by Joe Mullins, a senior forensic imaging specialist in the forensic services unit of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“I couldn’t believe as I was unpacking the skulls, that these are — how could these people just disappear?” Mullins says in the documentary. “These are a mother and two of her children, another unidentified little girl. I just was blown away by this case.”

The WMUR documentary includes the sketch of the child and explores the journey to find her identity.

It ends on the note that the investigation into who she was remains ongoing. 

The child was believed to be between 2 and 4 years-old at the time of her death. She was likely primarily Caucasian, with a small amount of Asian, Black and American Indian ancestries, WMUR reported previously. She had slightly wavy brown hair and was between 3 feet, 3 inches and 3 feet, 9 inches tall. She also had a slight overbite and may have had anemia. Genealogy research suggests that she and her biological mother might have relatives in Mississippi. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-2663 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children By calling 1-800-THE-LOST.

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