Police say missing Vt. woman victim of foul play
Vermont State Police investigators believe a missing woman whose 2-year-old son was found alone in her SUV with the engine running is a victim of foul play.
]Police said 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins of St. Johnsbury has been missing since Sunday night. A friend who was looking for her called police, who say evidence from the scene indicates there was a struggle.
The SUV was found a short distance away from Jenkins' home. A relative believes she was trying to help someone at the time.
The Vermont Air National Guard is searching for Jenkins by helicopter and police are using search dogs.
Jenkins is a single parent who teaches science and coaches girls' basketball at St. Johnsbury Academy. She also waitresses part-time at The Creamery Restaurant in Danville.
Police press release -
DATE OF RELEASE: March 26, 2012
NCIDENT: Missing Person
CASE #: 12B100874
INVESTIGATOR: Det. Sgt. Walter Smith, St. Johnsbury Barracks
DATE & TIME OF INCIDENT: March 25th, 2012 @ 2300 hours
LOCATION: Goss Hollow Road, St. Johnsbury
VICTIM: Melissa Jenkins, age 33, St. Johnsbury, VT
SUMMARY OF INCIDENT: Below is a statement issued by Major Ed Ledo of the Vermont State Police at this morning's press conference that took place at the St. Johnsbury Barracks:
On March 25 at approximately 11:30 PM, Melissa Jenkins, age 33 of St. Johnsbury was reported missing by a friend. The friend who had not heard from her since approximately 08:30 PM went looking for Ms. Jenkins and discovered her vehicle at that time, a 2006 silver Suzuki Grand Vitara, parked alongside Goss Hollow Road in St. Johnsbury, a short distance from Ms. Jenkins' residence. Ms. Jenkins was not with the vehicle; however her 2 year old son was discovered inside the vehicle, unharmed.
Troopers from the St. Johnsbury Barracks as well as the St. Johnsbury Police Department responded and searched the immediate area including a Hardwick Police Department K-9, however Ms. Jenkins was not located. Responding Troopers observed evidence at the scene to indicate that Ms. Jenkins' disappearance is the result of foul play as evidence present showed signs that a struggle had occurred.
Vermont State Police Detectives and the State Police Crime Scene Search Team were called in and are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Ms. Jenkins' disappearance as well as processing the scene and Ms. Jenkins' vehicle. The Vermont Air National Guard is assisting in the search for Ms. Jenkins by providing a helicopter for air support to canvas the area. Members of the St. Johnsbury Fire Department are assisting with the search as well. At this time, Detectives are conducting interviews and following up on numerous leads.
The public should expect that sections of Goss Hollow Road will be closed throughout the day while the search is being expanded and are asked to seek alternate routes.
Ms. Jenkins is described as a white female, approx. 5 feet 4 inches tall, approx. 130 lbs with blonde hair and hazel eyes. Ms. Jenkins is a science teacher at the St. Johnsbury Academy.
Anyone with information concerning this incident or may know Ms. Jenkins' whereabouts should call the Vermont State Police in St. Johnsbury at 802-748-3111. Police are also looking to speak with anyone who may have driven Goss Hollow road in St. Johnsbury on Sunday evening between the hours of approximately 7:00 PM and 11:30 PM.
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