Bay Area man with ‘RIP’ face tattoo who killed his girlfriend then drove around with her decomposing remains in her RV for three days, will serve decades in prison
Beau Paepke, 30, was sentenced to 20 years to life after pleading guilty to murdering his girlfriend, Rachel ‘Elias’ Meisenheimer, 33, in late June
Meiseinheimer’s decomposing body was found inside her RV on July 1, after Paepke surrendered to police and told them where to find victim
Initially he pled not guilty to murder, violating a domestic violence order, violating parole and probation, but changed his pleas in November
Paepke who has a criminal record, in June pled no contest to a Dec. 2019, felony assault great bodily injury involving Meisenheimer
A 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 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 pled guilty to killing his girlfriend of five years, 33-year-old Rachel ‘Elias’ Meisenheimer.
For his recent conviction, Beau Paepke will first serve four years of a determinate sentence because of issues identified in his probation report.
He will then serve 16 years to life, an indeterminant sentence for the second-degree murder of his former partner in July of this year and the enhancement of the use of a deadly weapon.
Paepke, of Santa Cruz, California, suffocated and stabbed Rachael Meisenheimer to death inside her RV on June 28 – just three days after he was released from jail on a domestic violence charge she filed against him.
After surrendering to police on July 1, he confessed to the murder, days after killing Meisenheimer in her vehicle and driving her around in it. 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 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 pled not guilty to killing his girlfriend.
Then in November, he pled guilty to the charges against him.
At his sentencing hearing on Friday, an emotionless Paepke chose not to speak, but Meisenheimer’s family delivered impassioned victim impact statements, arguing that their deceased loved one’s tormentor deserved a harsher punishment than the one he received, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
‘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.’
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. She added that her estranged partner waited until payday to kill her.
A bank statement allegedly showed Paepke drained $1,600 from her bank account as her body was decomposing in the RV.
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.
Paepke will pay nearly $8,000 in restitution to pay back the California Victim Compensation Board, an agency that covered Meisenheimer’s funeral and burial.
Beyond the repayment, her family hopes to see the RV which the family have been denied access because it is a “horrific crime scene”, and have it cleaned out. It was the first thing that Meisenheimer ever bought on her own, a home that became her pride and joy, her mother said.