HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A man who authorities say started a new life and family in Ohio after killing his wife and teenage daughter in 1995 when they lived in a New York suburb was sentenced Wednesday to 60 years in prison for his daughter’s murder.
A judge in New Britain, Connecticut, imposed the prison time on 78-year-old Robert Honsch, who was convicted of murder by a jury in March for the death of 17-year-old Elizabeth Honsch. Her body was found wrapped in sleeping bags and garbage bags behind a New Britain strip mall in the fall of 1995.
“I think this finally gives the family some peace of mind,” New Britain State’s Attorney Christian Watson said Wednesday. “The sentence ... was a just sentence because of the tragic loss of a young life in Elizabeth.”
Honsch’s lawyer, public defender Justin Smith, asked Judge Laura Baldini to impose the minimum 25-year sentence and said an appeal of the guilty verdict was being considered.
Honsch, who did not say anything at the sentencing, is already serving a life sentence in Massachusetts for killing his wife, 53-year-old Marcia Honsch. Her body was found in western Massachusetts, a week after her daughter’s body was discovered.
Both mother and daughter were shot in the head. Authorities still aren’t sure where the killings took place. The family lived in Brewster, New York, at the time.
After Marcia and Elizabeth Honsch’s bodies were found, their bodies remained unidentified for 19 years. Authorities could not identify them because of a lack of evidence. Several rounds of DNA testing determined they were mother and daughter, but they remained unidentified until a woman from Virginia Beach, Virginia, contacted New York state police in June 2014 looking for relatives unaccounted for since 1995.
During that span, Robert Honsch remarried and had three children. He was found living under an assumed name, Robert Tyree, with his current wife and three children in Dalton, Ohio, when he was arrested in 2014. Authorities said an examination of items found near Elizabeth Honsch’s body connected him to the scene.