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FOX 13 Exclusive: Suspect in Clearfield serial rape cold case is now confessing to multiple murders

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 01:12:53-05

FARMINGTON, Utah — Multiple law enforcement sources across the country have revealed a man accused of at least 11 rapes in Utah and Wyoming has now confessed to numerous murders.

Up until September, police had been looking for a suspect they called the "Clearfield Rapist."

Investigators said they were able to link DNA evidence from rape cases between 1991 and 2001 to Mark Douglas Burns, a 69-year-old truck driver in Ogden.

Prosecutors initially charged Burns with the sexual assault of victims in:

  • Rock Springs, Wyoming
  • Riverdale City, Utah
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Clearfield, Utah
  • Laramie, Wyoming
  • Layton, Utah

In at least one case, police said Burns forced family members of his victims to watch the sexual assaults take place.

Since his incarceration, sources told FOX 13 they have linked more cases to Burns and that he has confessed to at least three murders and an unknown amount of additional rape charges.

Investigators allege Burns is not just a serial rapist; he's also a serial killer.

Multiple sources say one of the cases now being linked to Burns is the 2001 killing of a 28-year-old woman named Sue Ellen Gunderson Higgins in Evanston, Wyoming. Her husband was arrested in New Mexico, but charges were eventually dropped as law enforcement realized he was wrongfully accused.

The Evanston Police Department is not confirming or denying Burns' involvement in the case, citing an ongoing investigation.

Colleen Coebergh, the private defense attorney representing Burns, has not responded to FOX 13's request for comment.

On Monday, Coebergh was scheduled to attend a court hearing in which she would have asked a judge to dismiss the case against Burns.

A few hours before the hearing, Coebergh asked to reschedule due to a "medical emergency."

Burns has not been charged with murder or additional rape charges since his incarceration in September.

Davis County District Attorney Troy Rawlings said he could not comment on FOX 13's findings.

Stay with FOX 13 for continuing updates on this story.