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.
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:41 PM EST2014-03-07 04:41:04 GMT
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring. In August Michael Jacques struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He gave up his right to an appeal and pleadedMore >>
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-03-07 04:40:13 GMT
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb. The Burlington School District voted Thursday night on half of the multi-million dollar deal.More >>
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:53 PM EST2014-03-07 00:53:09 GMT
'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- theMore >>
The deep freeze is making for some rough roads across our region and it's also contributing to a fuel shortage. Shelby Cashman has more.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:56 PM EST2014-03-07 00:56:36 GMT
The pothole problem knows no boundaries. Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads. The Quebec Transportation Ministry budgeted $260 million for winter road maintenance. But crews haveMore >>
Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:23 PM EST2014-03-06 21:23:33 GMT
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system. The fire last month damaged a row of townhouses. All of theMore >>
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:50 PM EST2014-03-06 21:50:24 GMT
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car. The incident happened Wednesday at the Intersection of 1-91 and Route 302 in Newbury, Vt. Vermont state police sayMore >>
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car.More >>