Police release sketch of man seen driving missing couple's car
Bill and Lorraine Currier
Essex, Vermont - June 14, 2011
Bill and Lorraine Currier's home once again looks like the rest on Colbert Street. The police cruisers are gone and the mobile crime lab has moved on. But the Essex couple is still missing.
"We've gotten several leads that we're following up on," Essex Police Lt. George Murtie said Tuesday.
Now police say a man may have been seen driving the couple's dark green Saturn sedan last Thursday afternoon around Pearl Street in Essex Junction. On Friday, police found the car abandoned at the Pearl Street apartments. Behind the apartment complex where the Curriers' car was dumped is acres of swampland. Police say they've checked here and three other wooded areas in Essex and have found no evidence of the missing couple. Police dogs trained in water rescue have been unable to find a scent.
Police have outlined a 36 square mile search area all within Essex. They're not just looking for bodies, but any evidence of human travel through the area. The wet weather, however, is making it difficult to search for clues.
"When you search an area it's almost impossible to rule it out 100 percent," Murtie said. "There's a chance we could go back search some of the same areas more than once."
Investigators are working out of a central command post setup at the Essex fire department. The police took a break from foot searches Tuesday to analyze tips and other evidence pouring in from the public. Police are collecting surveillance footage from several area businesses along Susie Wilson Road, like Colonial Market. But employees there tell us the camera doesn't do so well at night and not much of the road is visible.
"I can't really comment on how useful it's been but it's certainly one of the things that we want to focus on for awhile," Murtie said.
By all accounts Bill and Lorraine Currier, who mysteriously disappeared sometime between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, were a quiet, predictable couple. They bought their home on Colbert Street in July 2003. Town records show they pay their taxes on time and have no liens on their property. The couple only owns one car and Bill's employer told us he doesn't drive. A DMV check revealed that Bill Currier does not have a valid Vermont driver's license. In 1986 it was suspended for 90 days after he got a DUI. He never reinstated it.
Police say they are looking at all angles and they're hoping the sketch they released of the man who may have been driving the Curriers' car could start to fill in the blanks. Investigators will not say what they've uncovered on the couple's computer or if they've used their bank accounts or cellphones. Essex police did say however that at this point they do not believe the public is at risk.
"Nothing in the investigation has raised any red flags of a public safety concern," Murtie said. "We're still investigating this as a missing person complaint. The circumstances are suspicious."
Police are being very tight-lipped about their theories or if they suspect foul play. We still don't know if the Curriers ran off together, whether one may have hurt the other or if a third person abducted them both. Police are asking anyone who may have seen the couple since Wednesday or anyone who may recognize the man in the sketch to call the Essex police.
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