HINSDALE — Key details about the murder of a Hinsdale couple remain shrouded months after the alleged murderer was found dead.
The state so far is not making information available, and court records indicate the case could yield new criminal charges despite the death of the only named suspect.
Derrick Shippee, 28, was found dead at a relative’s home in Vernon, Vt., from an overdose of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl hours after he was named as the suspect in the April 11 shooting deaths of Neal Bolster, 29, and Aaliyah Jacobs, 19.
Hinsdale police officers filed affidavits in Keene District Court that were used to obtain an arrest warrant for Shippee. Those affidavits, reviewed by a judge, would contain details of the evidence police gathered to support the murder charges laid out in the warrants. However, the affidavits remain sealed and unavailable to the public.
Arrest warrant affidavits typically become public after an arrest is made and the warrant is “returned” to the court. Since Shippee was never charged with the murders, the warrant was never returned. There is no public court case against Shippee associated with the charges.
Court officials said Monday that the affidavits are on file in the courthouse, but are sealed per a court order. That order itself is also sealed, and remains unavailable to the public. The judge in the case reportedly wrote the word “granted” on the state’s motion filed to seal the affidavit, and did not write out a separate order, according to court officials.
A challenge to that order was denied by the court in late June. New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward wrote in a motion objecting to the challenge that investigators were still working on the case and that witnesses are still being questioned about the murders.
“If witnesses to whom the police have not spoken or who have not appeared before the grand jury learn of the substance of statements made by other witnesses in the case, the witnesses may tailor their stories to information available to police, or may deny to police that they possess certain knowledge altogether,” Ward’s objection states.
Ward based his argument on the fact that the case is still in the “pre-indictment” stage, meaning charges could still be sought against people involved. New Hampshire courts have allowed the state to keep information sealed in this stage.
The motive for the crime remains undisclosed at this time. Both Shippee and Bolster had ties to illegal drug activity in the area, according to court records.