Did Joseph Henry Burgess, a possible suspect in the 2004 slayings of a couple on a remote beach near Jenner, kill a man and steal his gun in 2007?
That disturbing possibility was raised Thursday after New Mexico authorities determined that a .357 revolver Burgess used to kill a sheriff?s deputy last week belonged to a man reported as missing in 2007.
The man, David Eley, was reported by his family as missing in the Jemez mountains and has never been located.
Whether Eley was killed by Burgess or died by other means is something investigators hope to learn.
?We don?t know for sure,? said Peter Olson, a spokesman for New Mexico state police.
More details about last week?s deadly altercation between Burgess, 62, and deputies were released on Thursday.
The two deputies, who were investigating a series of break-ins into vacation homes, were hiding out in a cabin when suddenly Burgess entered through an unlocked window.
After a brief scuffle, the deputies managed to get handcuffs on Burgess, who nevertheless managed to reach a revolver that was tucked in his waistband behind his back.
Burgess began firing, striking Sgt. Joe Harris, who retrieved his own weapon and fired back.
Both Harris and Burgess died in the gun battle.
Authorities were surprised to learn of Burgess?s identity after they ran his fingerprints through an FBI database.
Knowing Burgess was alive in 2004, Sonoma County detectives are hoping to determine whether he had a role in the slayings of Jason Allen, 26, and his fiancee, Lindsay Cutshall, 22, who were shot to death as they slept on a beach just north of Jenner.
Olson said Sonoma County investigators were in New Mexico Thursday searching for any connections.
The Jenner case has similarities to the 1972 slayings of a young couple on a remote beach on Vancouver Island.
Burgess is the prime suspect in that case, but for 37 years he eluded capture. Until last week, authorities had no inkling that he was even alive.
In both the Canadian and Jenner homicides, the victims were young, unmarried couples who were devoutly religious. All four victims were shot in the head on remote beaches as they slept in sleeping bags.
Burgess, who professed deep religious convictions, reportedly made statements taking issue with the Canadian couple sleeping on the beach out of wedlock.
In the days prior to the couple?s death, he was seen with a .22-caliber rifle, the same caliber used in those slayings.
The similar circumstances of the two cases piqued the interest of Sonoma County investigators, who are now hoping that DNA or other evidence will confirm or rule Burgess out as a suspect in the Jenner case.