NEW BRITAIN – Robert Honsch, the man accused of killing his daughter whose body was found in New Britain in 1995, was found guilty by a Massachusetts jury and sentenced to life in prison Monday in the murder of his wife.
Found dead from a gunshot wound to her head in late September 1995, 17-year-old Elizabeth Honsch had been wrapped in two sleeping bags and some garbage bags near a dumpster behind a Hartford Road plaza.
The decomposing body of her mother, Marcia, 53, was found about eight days later at a campground in Tolland, Mass. She, too, had been shot in the head.
A search warrant indicated both women had been shot elsewhere and dumped where they were found.
For nearly two decades, New Britain police and Massachusetts State Police worked to identify the women.
But it wasn’t until family members sought the help of the New York State Police in June 2014 after being in contact with Honsch’s wife, Sheryl Tyree, for five years that their identities were confirmed.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “My sympathy remains with Marcia and Elizabeth’s family; however, I hope this verdict brings them some closure to this long process of criminal justice, and a feeling that, indeed, justice has been served,” said Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gullini who’s office prosecuted the case.
Gulluni went on to say, “I would like to thank the many law enforcement agencies involved for their incredible steadfastness and commitment to justice through this very lengthy and, at times, frustrating investigation. I would also like to thank and commend Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell for her tenacity and superb skill in winning this hard-fought conviction.” Honsch was held without bond in Massachusetts, while facing a murder charge in the death of Marcia Honsch.
He was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, Mass. Monday and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
New Britain police have been holding an arrest warrant charging Honsch with the death of his daughter for nearly three years.
Now that the Massachusetts case has concluded, he will be served with the New Britain warrant, police said.
According to the search warrant, family members, including Marcia Honsch’s four older daughters from a previous marriage, suspected for years that Honsch was responsible for the disappearance of their mother and their half-sister.
Elizabeth was the only one of the five girls who was Honsch’s biological daughter. Honsch told family members in late October 1995 that Marcia and Elizabeth had moved to Australia and he was expecting to join them soon, the warrant said.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.