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Officials Uncover Body Believed To Be Murdered Devotee

January 7, 1987

NEW VRINDABAN, W.Va. (AP) _ A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in the death of a Hare Krishna devotee led police to a muddy creekbed where they found a body, officials said.

The body found Tuesday is believed to be that of Charles Saint Denis, the devotee who disappeared 3 1/2 years ago, said Marshall County Prosecutor Tom White.

Last summer, authorities did extensive excavations in the area hunting for the body, once coming within 10 feet of where the body lay, White said.

The search resumed Monday after Daniel Reid, 31, of Los Angeles entered his guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter and agreed to cooperate. The body was found doubled over in a small hole about 18 inches under the creek bed, White said.

The creekbed is in a remote area of the 4,000-acre Krishna compound in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle.

Thomas Drescher, 37, of Ravenna, Ohio, was convicted last month of first- degree murder in the death of Saint Denis.

West Virginia law does not require that a body be produced in a first- degree murder trial.

During Drescher’s trial, witnesses said Drescher told them he and Reid shot, stabbed and clubbed Saint Denis to death and then tried to dissolve the body with acid.

White said Reid, who will be sentenced Monday, was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge because he was not ″the principal killer″ of Saint Denis.

Drescher still faces charges in California stemming from the May 1985 slaying of Krishna dissident Steven Bryant. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in West Virginia, and faces the death penalty in California, if convicted.

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