Remains of N.H. teen missing since 1984 are identified
The remains of a New Hampshire teenager who went missing in 1984 were identified this week, and authorities are connecting her disappearance to a notorious serial killer who died in 2010, officials said Wednesday.
Elizabeth “Liz” Lamotte was last seen at age 17 when she went missing from a youth development center in Manchester, N.H., on Nov. 22, 1984, according to statement from the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.
On that date, Lamotte left the center on a furlough to Gill Stadium in Manchester, but never returned.
Authorities said a tip about Lamotte’s disappearance was received after a January 2017 press conference regarding the remains of multiple people found in Allenstown, N.H , according to the statement.
Investigators have said in the late 1970s, a man known locally under the alias Bob Evans — but whose real name was Terry Peder Rasmussen — killed a woman and three girls — including his own daughter — and dumped them in steel barrels in the woods of Allenstown.
In 1985, hunters stumbled upon a barrel containing the decomposing bodies of a woman, believed to be in her mid-20s, and a girl, believed to be about 10 or 11 years old, in Allenstown. Fifteen years later, a State Police sergeant newly assigned to the case discovered a second barrel, containing the remains of two more girls, believed to be about 3 and 4.
Authorities believed they were killed between the late 1970s and early 1980s. DNA tests revealed that the woman and two of the girls were related.
During last year’s press conference, officials released the name of Bob Evans, who was a suspect in the murders, and the name of a woman who was thought to be his wife, Elizabeth Evans. Both were living in Manchester in the early 1980s, according to the attorney general’s statement.
After authorities asked the public’s help in identifying Elizabeth Evans, one tipster told investigators that Lamotte could be the Elizabeth Evans they were trying to identify, and said that Lamotte had escaped the youth development center during the 1980s and had not been heard from since. Lamotte had not been reported as a missing person to Manchester police until after the press conference in 2017.
Manchester police then spoke with people who worked at the youth facility and friends and relatives of Lamotte. They also entered her information into a national crime database.
Two of Lamotte’s brothers provided DNA samples to authorities. On Tuesday, officials notified Manchester police that they matched the brothers’ DNA to the remains of a woman who was found murdered in Tennessee in 1985.
The body of the woman, now identified as Lamotte, was found dead in Greenville, Tenn., along Interstate 81 in April 1985. No identification was found on or near the body when she was discovered, and an autopsy found that her cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. The body had been dead for about two to three weeks before she was discovered. The death was ruled a homicide.
Rasmussen died in prison in December 2010.
In 2002, Rasmussen killed Eunsoon Jun, a woman he married a year earlier in an unofficial backyard ceremony, and buried her body in the basement of their Richmond, Calif., home. He was serving a sentence for that slaying when he died.
Anyone with information about Lamotte’s death is encouraged to contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations at 1-800-TBI-FIND.