7 Arrested in 1997 Conn. Killing
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ An eighth person was being sought Wednesday in connection with what police say was an orchestrated kidnapping, rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl by a group of friends five years ago.
Seven people were arrested Tuesday and face charges including conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Maryann Measles. Two men were charged with capital felony, which potentially carries the death penalty.
The girl’s decomposed body was found wrapped in a blanket and chains at Lake Lillinonah in Bridgewater on July 15, 1998. Her mother had reported her missing nine months earlier.
The eighth person was being sought in Texas, where he was expected to be arrested soon, Col. Timothy Barry, the state police commander, said.
Investigators told The Hartford Courant they believe the men involved in the killing wanted to silence Measles because she was threatening them with charges of statutory rape. The three arrested women _ who police believe instigated the plot _ wanted revenge because Measles had sex with some of their boyfriends, the newspaper reported.
``It’s taken five years, but they didn’t get away with it. They thought they would,″ said Cindi Measles, the victim’s mother.
She said she knew all the suspects, and had to endure seeing them in town after her daughter disappeared.
The two men charged with capital felony were Deaneric Dupas, 27, of Waterbury and Alan Walter, 24, of New Milford. Dupas also was charged with first-degree sexual assault.
The five other people arrested were June Segar Bates, 22, Maggie Mae Bennett, 23, Keith Foster, 26, and Ronald Rajcok, 29, all of New Milford, and Dorothy Hallas, 22, of Naugatuck. The eighth person being sought in Texas was not identified.
Attorney Scott Chamberlain, representing Rajcok, declined to comment on the charges.
``Everything starts with a not guilty plea,″ he said. ``Obviously, things have been in the wind for some time.″
Arraignments were scheduled Wednesday.
Authorities released few details of the investigation and the girl’s death, and the arrest warrant affidavits were sealed from public view.
However, the Courant, citing sources it did not identify, reported Wednesday that one suspect alleged to be Rajcok picked up Measles at a supermarket parking lot while she sat in a car waiting for her mother to return from the store.
Rajcok then reportedly drove Measles to an isolated area, where Bennett, Seger, Walter, Dupas, Foster and Hallas _ who was Foster’s girlfriend at that time _ were waiting, sources told the newspaper.
The sources said Dupas held Measles down while others raped her in the back of a van, and afterward, they said, Walter strangled her.
The girl had given police a statement about having sex with a 19-year-old and was expected to return and discuss her relationship with a 21-year-old man shortly before she disappeared, her mother said. She said the 19-year-old man was Walter and the 21-year-old man was Foster.
Maryann was well-liked and outgoing at her middle school, but had a reputation for hanging out with older boys, smoking and getting into trouble at school, her mother said.
The Courant reported that the girl had used the threat of statutory rape prosecution to pressure the men with whom she had sex into buying her liquor, cigarettes and drugs and giving her rides to a shopping mall.
Cindi Measles said she had urged her daughter to go to police. She said her daughter told her, ``They are going to kill me, Ma, if they find me.″
``She was terrified, but I didn’t think she literally meant `kill’ her,″ Cindi Measles said. ``I thought she was scared that they’d beat her up.″
Now, she said, her thoughts are often of how her daughter will never graduate from school, drive a car or have children.
``She’ll never have anything like that because they saw fit to be judge, jury and executioner,″ Measles said.