Search for murder suspect continues in Franklin County

State Police and search teams searched the Connecticut River

GILL, Mass. (WWLP) – A manhunt continues in Franklin County after a murder suspect’s car was found parked by a bridge.

The suspect is 24-year-old Tyler Hagmaier. He’s originally from Montague, but police found his vehicle parked near the French King Bridge in Gill. Police believe he may have jumped into the river, but they are keeping the manhunt open just in case he is still out there.

Vibeke Rasmussen
Vibeke Rasmussen

It all started more than 100 miles away, in Plymouth. At 11 P.M. Thursday, screams were heard inside the apartment of 76-year-old Vibeke Rasmussen.

On Friday, police found her dead, stabbed more than 30 times.

10 P.M. Friday, police found Tyler Hagmaier’s silver Prius parked by the French King Bridge in Gill, the same time witnesses heard a splash in the water.

Nancy Hulse of Westford said, “If it’s the bridge you are familiar with and you want to do yourself in, he knows that it’s going to be relatively easy to do and not a lot of witnesses. If he wanted to make people think that he jumped, that’s a way to do it too.”

Near the bridge are signs posted for people considering suicide. Locals, like Ken Kurtyka of Greenfield, know it wouldn’t be the first time. “There’s been a lot of suicides off there. Probably six or so over the last three years.”

On Saturday, no police boats, but the search continues Sunday. A surprising commotion in this otherwise quiet Franklin County town.

Ryan Montpelier of Montague said, “No, you don’t see that. You would think Springfield or something, but not in Gill or any of the surrounding towns. It’s very quiet.”

Police say that Hagmaier targeted Rasmussen. It was not a random crime, but he should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

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