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Couple arrested in Vt. teacher's death
Vermont state police say a Waterford couple is under arrest on charges of second-degree murder in the strangulation death of a beloved St. Johnsbury teacher, whose body was discovered Monday miles from where police found her idling car and toddler son.
Allen Prue, 30, and Patricia Prue, 33, were to be arraigned Wednesday in Caledonia Criminal Court after their arrest earlier in the day in connection with the murder of Melissa Jenkins, Vermont State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said at a morning news conference.
Ledo said the Prues knew Jenkins and had plowed her driveway “a couple years ago,” but did not disclose what motive they may have had in allegedly strangling the 33-year-old St. Johnsbury Academy teacher or what police found connecting them to the case.
Jenkins was reported missing Sunday, and police later found her 2-year-old son alone in his mother’s car on a back road near her St. Johnsbury home. Her body was found Monday about 10 miles away in a neighboring town.
The Prues, who are married, are being held without bail at the Northeast Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury on charges of murder and improper disposal of a body, Ledo said. He said more charges may be coming.
“Our efforts in this case are not complete,” he said. “We hope these arrests bring some closure to the families and friends of Melissa Jenkins.”
Ledo said police, who are working with the FBI and a cadre of other agencies, executed a search warrant last night at the Prues’ home, which remains locked down today. He called Jenkins’ death an “isolated incident,” but didn’t comment further and took no questions at his four-minute morning news conference.
Police said there was evidence of a struggle in Jenkins’ SUV, and that the toddler, now with family, was found uninjured.
Jenkins taught science and had served as the freshman girls’ basketball coach at St. Johnsbury Academy, a boarding school that also serves as the public high school. A makeshift memorial of luminarias with individual notes from students on them lined the entry to a main building at the school Tuesday, where students and officials continue to grieve in the wake of Jenkins’ death.
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