AG says search of Allenstown property turns up nothing
A search Wednesday by law enforcement of the Allenstown property where the remains of a woman and three young girls were found in barrels decades ago turned up “nothing of consequence,” according to Jeffery Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general.
About two dozen officers from state, Manchester and Allenstown police, the FBI and New Hampshire Fish and Game conducted a grid search of about 30 acres of private property adjacent to Bear Brook State Park.
“It was a coordinated line search, just something that had never been done,” Strelzin said.
The searchers did not use technology to look underground, he said.
“The idea was to look and see what’s on the surface and see whether there was anything that might prompt other steps, whether it’s ground-penetrating radar or dogs or digging.”
Sgt. Michael Kokoski, an investigator with the state police cold case unit who has worked on the Allenstown case for years, said in an email that the search “was a final, thorough effort to be sure there were no additional remains or related evidence on the property.”
And, he said, “No additional remains were found and nothing of significant evidentiary value was recovered either.”
Strelzin said there are “no plans right now” to return to the site to search.
In January, authorities revealed a grisly connection between the remains found in barrels in 1985 and 2000 and a man who called himself Bob Evans when he lived in Manchester in the late 1970s. Evans had worked at a Manchester mill with the man who owns the Allenstown property.
Authorities say they believe Evans killed the four victims and also murdered Denise Beaudin, a 23-year-old Goffstown woman who disappeared with her 6-month-old daughter just after Thanksgiving in 1981.
Beaudin and her baby had been living with Evans in a Manchester apartment at the time. Her family had never reported them missing, believing they had left town with Evans to escape financial troubles.
Beaudin’s daughter, who was abandoned by Evans in California as a young girl and was later adopted, started researching her identity last year. DNA testing revealed she had relatives in Goffstown.
That’s when authorities realized Denise Beaudin was a missing person. But by the time they tracked down Evans, he was dead.
Evans was convicted of killing a California woman in 2002. He died in prison in 2010.
After investigators here started looking into Beaudin’s disappearance, DNA testing revealed that Evans was the biological father of one of the girls whose remains were found in Allenstown.
Authorities held a press conference in January, asking for the public’s help to solve the case.
Police in California also have been trying to find out more about Evans’ activities when he lived there in the 1980s. There’s a 12-year gap during which his whereabouts are unknown, and authorities fear he may have had other victims in other states.
Evans used several aliases as he traveled on the West Coast, police have learned.
In the months since authorities revealed the connections among Evans, Beaudin and the Allenstown victims, investigators from Manchester and state police have been sifting through information sent in by the public, Strelzin said.
“There’s some additional forensic testing going on as well,” he said, but refused to elaborate.
How optimistic is Strelzin that the case will be solved? “I’m more optimistic than I was last year,” he said.
He’s often been asked how four people could just disappear without anyone reporting them missing. But it happens, he said, and the proof is Denise Beaudin.
“She went missing and no missing person report was made,” he said.
The murders took place before cell phones and the internet, when it wasn’t easy for families to connect long-distance, he said.
“We’ve also recognized these folks could be from out of the country,” he said. Their relatives could live in Canada, for instance, making it even more difficult to track them down.
So what would justice look like in this bizarre case?
“I think it would be great to learn the identity of our four victims in Allenstown and to find Denise Beaudin’s remains,” Strelzin said. “I think those would be two huge steps, especially for Denise’s family, and for the people in Allenstown. They have families somewhere too.
“Given that our perpetrator is dead, that’s the most we can really do,” said.