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Search continues for killer

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Kathleen Smith Kathleen Smith

Burlington, Vermont - October 22, 2010

Burlington Police continue their hunt for a murderer.

Investigators are looking into who killed 50-year-old Kathleen Smith a week ago.

The avid gardener and artist was found dead in her Park Street home Monday. Police will not reveal how she died but say she was killed during a violent struggle. For a third day detectives focused on Addison County asking people there if they saw anything suspicious in the last week.

Officers went door to door in East Middlebury. That's near Hancock, an hour from Smith's house and where her car was found dumped in the woods. Police believe whoever ditched the car may also be connected to a recent break-in at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. The college says an out building was broken into but nothing was stolen. Police say the building is 4 or 5 miles along the Long Trail from where Smith's car was found, but will not say exactly what makes them think the killer may have been there.

"We're going to continue to work around the clock through the weekend. The tip line has started to light up quite a bit in the last 48 hours, so we have leads to pursue. We encourage the public to continue to call with any information on Ms. Smith's vehicle. Or any suspicious activity on Park Street between October 14th and 16th," said Lieutenant Jennifer Morrison of the Burlington Police Department.

Police continue asking for help from hikers or hunters in the area of Hancock or Ripton to tell them about anyone who seemed out of place in the woods. They're offering a sizable cash reward for information that cracks the case.

"We will bring whatever resources to bear that are necessary to bring this person to justice. The fact they may be hundreds or thousands of miles away by now does not cause us any concern, because they've already been here in Vermont, they've already left trace evidence behind, and we'll catch up to them," said Morrison.

Meanwhile, Kathleen Smith's family and friends are planning a private memorial service Sunday for a woman they say gave so much to her community and still had so much to give.

The tipline is 802-540-2222.

Jack Thurston - WCAX-TV

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