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Search renewed in West Side woods for woman who disappeared in 1980

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 14. 2018 7:44PM
Manchester police and other law enforcement leave the woods behind the Kimball Street housing project in November, where a third day of searching continued for evidence in connection to the 1980 disappearance of Denise Daneault. (UNION LEADER FILE)


MANCHESTER — Law enforcement officials will return to a wooded area on the West Side today to resume a search for anything that might help explain the disappearance of a mother of two young children in Manchester nearly 38 years ago, authorities said.

City police and FBI agents will be armed with shovels and heavy equipment to search for evidence in the disappearance of Denise Ann Daneault, who was 25 when she disappeared while out socializing on June 18, 1980.

Last November, authorities spent four days searching and digging behind the Kimball Street housing projects. At the time, they used cadaver-sniffing dogs, heavy equipment and shovels.

The land is part of a vast area of brush and woods known as Black Acres.

“It’s a big area back there and some challenging terrain,” said homicide prosecutor Jeffery Strelzin. He said the digging will take place at selected locations; no one has taken authorities to a spot and pointed out where to dig.

Strelzin said the case is officially a missing person case, but foul play is a possibility.

At the time of her disappearance, Daneault was living across town at 343 Hayward St.

That would put her on the same street as Terry Peder Rasmussen, the serial killer who authorities have said went by the name Bob Evans and killed a woman and three children.

Their remains were discovered in Allenstown near Bear Brook Park in separate searches in 1985 and 2000.

Rasmussen was living at 975 Hayward St. in late November 1981 when he left town with Denise Beaudin, who was 23 at the time, and her young daughter.

Beaudin has never been found. Last year, authorities were able to connect Rasmussen to Beaudin’s disappearance and to the bodies in Allenstown.

Rasmussen died in a California prison in 2010 after he had been convicted of murdering and dismembering his common-law wife in Richmond, Calif.

Strelzin said authorities started investigating Daneault’s disappearance as part of their work in the Rasmussen case.

“I didn’t say we ruled him out. We don’t see a connection at this point,” Strelzin said.

Strelzin said the Daneault investigation has involved other avenues, but he would not discuss them.

Surveying and other prep work began on Monday behind 451 Kimball St.

Daneault’s children were 4 and 6 at the time of her disappearance. Strelzin said victim-witness advocates for his office are keeping the family informed of the case.

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