Police searching for answers in the disappearance of an Essex couple are getting some high-tech help thanks to the town select board.
Tuesday night the Essex select board approved a request from the police department for up to $15,000. The money will be used to pay for special DNA tests that can't be performed in Vermont and are so advanced the FBI doesn't even do them.
Bill and Lorraine Currier vanished from their home on June 8 and police suspect foul play. Forensic evidence was collected from the couple's car and home. But now police want to subject the evidence to some sort of state-of-the-art testing performed at an out-of-state government lab. Acting Essex Police Chief Brad LaRose says the testing is necessary to help them figure out what may have happened to the Curriers. And the select board is backing him up.
"The type of testing done is unique in and of itself. So it's not a situation where another type of testing failed so we have to revert to this. No, this is right of out the shoot we go with the testing on this material seized," LaRose said.
"We think the world of our police department. If they feel that this amount of money is necessary to continue the investigation than we certainly have no problem approving them spending again equitable sharing funds," said Linda Myers, the chair of the Essex select board.
This equitable sharing fund that Myers is referring to is not taxpayer money. It's pooled cash confiscated from drug dealers and it's available to police departments who participate in the county's drug task force.
Right now police aren't saying what's being tested. They say they'll share more information when the results come back in two to three weeks.