NH ties to Vt. teacher's killing: Cell phone, dumped evidence
Out on a Sunday drive. Vermont snow plow driver Allen Prue said he and his wife, Patricia, 'got the idea to get a girl.' So began the nightmarish plot to snuff out the life of a popular St. Johnsbury teacher and young mother last Sunday, police allege.
Despite the apparent casual and chilling ease with which the couple allegedly strangled and beat Melissa Jenkins, 33, and their trips to and from New Hampshire to buy the cell phone used in the murder and dispose of evidence, there is no known evidence that links them to any similar crime in the Granite State, a New Hampshire law enforcement source said Thursday.
'At this early juncture in the Vermont investigation, we have no reason to believe that these suspects have any ties to unsolved homicides or missing persons in New Hampshire,' the source said.
Members of New Hampshire's Cold Case Unit have been in contact with Vermont authorities since Allen Prue, 30, and his wife, Patricia, 33, of Waterford, Vt. were charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and improper disposal of a body, the source said.
In an interview with Vermont police Tuesday, Allen Prue admitted 'he was riding around with his wife Patricia and got the idea to get a girl. (He) then advised that they didn't plan to get one forcefully,' the police affidavit alleges.
Using the pre-paid cell phone they bought nearly a month earlier at the Walmart across the state line in Littleton, N.H, Patricia Prue, 33, called the attractive blonde teacher - whose driveway her husband once plowed - and lured her to her death on a ruse their car broke down and they needed help, the affidavit claims.
When Jenkins arrived and stepped out of her car, Allen Prue said he 'grabbed her and strangled her' while his wife was outside 'helping him.' Prue said he put the lifeless teacher's body in the back of his car and drove off, leaving Jenkins' vehicle idling with Jenkins' 2-year-old son sitting inside. On the drive home, Patricia Prue reached over and choked Jenkins 'to ensure she wasn't breathing,' police said her husband told them.
At home, the couple stripped Jenkins, removed their clothes, poured bleach over Jenkins' body and wrapped her and the clothes in a tarp, which they dumped in the Connecticut River in Barnet, Vt., court records allege.
The couple then drove into New Hampshire across the Route 18 bridge where they tossed the cell phone into the river near the Moore Dam in Littleton, the affidavit says. They then drove to an undisclosed location in New Hampshire where they poured kerosene over the tarp and clothing and burned them, police allege.
The next day, Jenkins' naked and bound body was found weighed down with a cinder block and covered with freshly cut boughs in a shallow stretch of the Connecticut River in Barnet, Vt., Condoms and wrappers were nearby. She had been strangled and severely beaten.