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Neighbors call Jenkins a loving mother - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Neighbors call Jenkins a loving mother

Posted: Updated:
Melissa Jenkins Melissa Jenkins
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -

A mystery in the Kingdom has the St. Johnsbury community on edge.  

A road closed sign marked the start of a crime scene Monday on Goss Hill Road.  It's here that Melissa Jenkins car was found not far from her home.
The 33 year old vanished Sunday night. Her car was found running. Her two-year-old was sitting in the back seat, but the long-time St. Johnsbury Academy teacher was nowhere to be found.

"She loves her child more than anything in the world. She'd never leave her child. She's one of the best mothers I've ever seen in my whole life," said Eric Berry, a relative.

"She would never do that. No, she would never," said local resident Dave Langmaid.

First thing Monday morning crews began searching the woods close to where Jenkins car was found, but as the hours wore on and few clues were found, aerial teams were brought in to help. Police found signs of a struggle near the car and believe the two-year-old watched as his mother was taken.
A friend went looking for Jenkins -- finally found the toddler several hours later and called 911.

Family believe Jenkins left home to help someone with car trouble, but exactly who she planned to meet is a mystery.

Reporter Keagan Harsha: Do you believe she was kidnapped?

Vermont State Police Major Ed Ledo: We know she didn't leave voluntarily based upon what we have at the scene. I can tell you that.

It's news the community is struggling to come to terms with. Jenikins grew up in St. Johnsbury, went to school at Lyndon State and has worked the last eight years as a basketball coach and physics teacher at the St. Johnsbury Academy.

"She has good charisma and just lots of energy. She loved kids and loved people," said Tom Lovvett, the Academy's Headmaster.

"She's a sweetheart. She babysat my kids," said Eric Pierce, Jenkin's neighbor.

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