WATCH: Vermont Teacher’s Tragic Death Shocks Community
When Melissa Jenkins answered the phone Sunday night, the couple who used to plow her driveway said they were stranded half a mile from her home.
Their car had broken down on the remote country road, they said, and they needed her help.
Before driving out to meet them, Jenkins called longtime friend and co-worker Randy Rathburn and said she “wanted someone to know what was going on,” police would recount later.
She told Rathburn about the “weird call” she received from the couple whose first names she could not remember. She still had their business card and asked Rathburn to write down the pertinent information: the name Prue, a phone number, an address in Waterford, Vt.
Jenkins’ SUV was found hours later abandoned on the side of the road, the engine running, the lights on and her 2-year-old son, Ty, asleep in the back seat. The next day, about 10 miles away, detectives discovered her body — bound, beaten and naked — lying face down in shallow water along the Connecticut River. She had been strangled to death.
Clues the 33-year-old Jenkins, a beloved science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy and part-time waitress at The Creamery restaurant in Danville, Vt., left behind helped guide investigators to the home of Allen and Patricia Prue in Waterford. Police arrested the couple early Wednesday. They each were charged with second-degree murder, pleaded not guilty and are jailed without bail.
Details about what authorities say happened to Jenkins, a single mother, emerged in court papers following the Prues’ arraignments.
Jenkins had graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy and worked for the school’s science department since 2004, most recently teaching physics, Headmaster Tom Lovett said. She was pursuing a master’s degree in education.
“Our efforts in this case are not complete. There’s still much work to be done,” Vermont State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said in announcing the arrests. “However, we hope these arrests bring some closure to the family and friends of Melissa Jenkins.”
Source: USA Today | Matt Ryan, The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
WATCH: Young Couple Held Without Bond for Killing a Man with a Saw and Putting his Remains in a Box
A Nevada judge has ruled that a couple charged with killing a man whose body was found in a box will be jailed without bond, pending an evidentiary hearing.
Authorities say the victim was cut multiple times with a saw. (Nov. 30)
Source: USA Today / AP