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Family and friends grieve for Melissa Jenkins - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Family and friends grieve for Melissa Jenkins

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BARNET, Vt. -

St. Johnsbury Academy's headmaster says he doesn't know what he'll say to students Tuesday.

"Throughout the day I told everyone in chapel the best thing to do is be hopeful both for Melissa and her family and for us. And this evening you heard a lot of the hope went out of the room," said Tom Lovett.

Sunday night, 33-year-old mother and science teacher Melissa Jenkins left her home, but never returned.

Friends found her SUV just down the road, running with her two-year-old son - unharmed - still inside.

Investigators found signs of a struggle. "Upon further investigation detectives located a body," said Vermont State Police Major Ed Ledo. "At this time the body recovered this afternoon it is believed to be that of Ms. Jenkins."

An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday to confirm, and determine a cause of death.

Police found the body near a boat ramp on Comerford Dam in Barnet.

Reporter: do you believe the perpetrator knew the victim?

Maj. Ledo: I'm not going to get into any of that

Investigators won't say if they have a suspect, or provide any substantial details.

More than one hundred people gathered in Danville to honor Melissa and grieve as a community.

"It was awesome to see all the people that actually care. And will actually be there to support someone in a small community," said Lauren Craig, a family friend.

"Melissa was the best person you could ever think of. She was a definite family person - she would do anything for anybody, said Ronald Craig, a family friend.

As the community mourns, police say the case will continue to draw all of their attention. Call Vermont State Police if you have any information.

Related Stories:

Police: Body discovered in Barnet believed to be Jenkins

Neighbors call Jenkins a loving mother

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