Man who killed his girlfriend then drove around with her body sentenced to 20 years to life

Man who killed his girlfriend then drove around with her body sentenced to 20 years to life

A transient man from the San Francisco Bay Area has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after he admitted to murdering his girlfriend and then driving around with her decomposing body in her RV car for three days before turning himself in.

Beau Paepke, 30, learned his fate on Friday at Santa Cruz County Superior Court, more than a month after he pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend of five years, 33-year-old Rachel 'Elias' Meisenheimer.

Paepke, of Santa Cruz, suffocated and stabbed Meisenheimer to death inside her RV on June 28 - just three days after he was released from jail on a domestic violence charge filed by his girlfriend.

Bay Area transient Beau Paepke has been sentenced to 20 years to life after pleading guilty to murdering his girlfriend, Rachel 'Elias' Meisenheimer.

He surrendered to the police on July 1 and confessed to killing Meisenheimer. Sporting a fresh 'RIP' tattoo on his forehead, he told police he left the victim's body inside her RV parked near the Keiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz.

After the brutal murder, Paepke emptied out her bank account and released her beloved pet pit bull, Frankie, in a nearby park.

Paepke is pictured with his girlfriend's pit bull, Frankie, whom he released in a park after her brutal murder.

Paepke was arrested on charges of murder, violating a domestic violence order, violating parole and probation.

After his initial confession, Paepke had a change of heart and pleaded not guilty to killing his girlfriend.

Then in November, he pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

At his sentencing hearing on Friday, Paepke kept mom, but Meisenheimer's family delivered impassioned impact statements, arguing that their deceased loved one's tormentor deserved a harsher punishment than the one he received, reported Santa Cruz Sentinel.

'If it was up to me, he’d be locked up for the rest of his life,' father Tim Meisenheimer said. 'They didn’t give him enough time. I don’t understand the justice system.'

Paepke had a history of domestic violence targeting Meisenheimer and had spent more than three weeks in jail in June. Three days after regaining his freedom, he stabbed and suffocated the woman to death.

Relatives and friends described Meisenheimer as a creative person who was an artist, a photographer, a goth model and an advocate for the homeless community.

Her mother, Monica Lennen, has revealed that Meisenheimer lived in her RV, struggled with drug addiction, and had lost her daughter, Mercy, to a still birth in October 2020.

But in the months leading up to her death, Lennen said her daughter was turning her life around and had decided to leave Paepke after suffering abuse at his hands.

In early June, Meisenheimer went to the police and reported her boyfriend for domestic violence, which landed him in jail for just over three weeks.

Just three days before the killing, Paepke was released from jail after pleading no contest to a December 2019 felony assault great bodily injury involving his girlfriend.
Man who killed his girlfriend then drove around with her body sentenced to 20 years to life
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