February 1, 2006

Funeral held for mother, baby killed in US mystery

By Jason Szep

PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Mourners packed a
19th-century Catholic Church on Wednesday for the funeral of a
27-year-old woman and her infant daughter whose double murder
mystery has captured attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Missing from the estimated 500 people crammed into St.
Peter Parish in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was a person who may
be able to shed some light on the crime: Neil Entwistle, the
victims' husband and father who flew to his native England
around the estimated time of the murders.

Rachel Souza Entwistle was found dead on January 22 in her
bedroom alongside her nine-month-old baby Lillian Rose in their
home in Hopkinton, about 30 miles west of Boston. Both had been
shot with a small-caliber gun which has not been found. They
were discovered by police under layers of blankets.

No arrests have been made but Neil Entwistle, a 27-year-old
computer engineer and Internet entrepreneur, is described by
Massachusetts authorities as a "person of interest" but not a

Rachel Entwistle's mother, dressed in a light blue woolen
winter jacket, wept and clung to family members as the single
coffin shared by Rachel and her daughter was wheeled out of the
church, about 34 miles south of Boston in the town where
pilgrims came to America on The Mayflower.

The mother and child were buried in a secluded corner of
Evergreen cemetery in Kingston -- a town that neighbors
Plymouth -- where Rachel Entwistle was raised.

"It is God for us who lays out the path of life and it is
sometimes frustrated by the evil that lives among us," Rev.
Bill MacKenzie, a family friend, told the service as dozens of
reporters and banks of TV news cameras lined the street
outside, held back by a metal barricade erected by police.

"After the crush of the media is gone, after the television
cameras and reporters are no longer here, you will still have
each other," he said, turning directly to Rachel's family
seated in the front pews. There was no mention of the husband
by MacKenzie and other speakers, including a high school friend
of Rachel Entwistle's who gave a tearful tribute.

U.S. investigators flew to London last week to question
Neil Entwistle at the U.S. embassy but he declined to talk to
them on the advice of his attorney, the Boston Globe reported.

Rachel met Neil Entwistle in England as a college student
and married him in Plymouth in 2003. They had only lived in
Hopkinton for 10 days before the murders. People found the
killings particularly shocking because they appeared to be such
a happy couple and photographs posted on their personal Web
site portrayed a family overjoyed with their new baby.

But Neil Entwistle's eBay business, in which he sold
get-rich-quick schemes and how-to manuals for pornography
sites, ran into trouble and just days before the murder eBay
shut down his operation after complaints by customers.

British media have speculated that the killings appeared to
have been done execution-style, with Rachel killed by two
bullets. There were no signs of a struggle or forced entry to
the home.