It's a heartbreaking blow for a community holding onto hope. Tuesday afternoon, the medical examiner confirmed that the body found Monday near Comerford Dam in Barnet is Melissa Jenkins, 33.
The St. Johnsbury mom and beloved high school science teacher left her home Sunday evening and never returned. A family friend discovered her SUV a few hours after her disappearance abandoned alongside Goss Hollow Road, a short distance from her home. It was still running with her 2-year-old son unharmed inside.
Police say evidence inside the vehicle showed signs of a struggle.
Investigators now say Jenkins' death is a homicide. But police would not reveal how she was killed. They're keeping this information under wraps to protect the integrity of the investigation. They spent Tuesday interviewing people and following leads. Investigators returned to Comerford Dam to collect more evidence, but what exactly they took from the scene remains unclear. At this time no suspects or persons of interest have been named.
Police did not address the media Tuesday and there still are several unanswered questions: Why did Jenkins leave her home Sunday night? Who was she going to meet? Was she lured there? Did her 2-year-old son who was found by a family friend in her abandoned car see anything that could help police?
We hope to have some of those answers for you, as police release more details in this tragic case in the coming days.
Police are releasing very few details at this point. We know they have talked extensively to Jenkins' family and friends.
And police have also made it clear they need the public's help. They particularly want to hear from anyone who may have traveled on Goss Hollow Road in St. Johnsbury Sunday evening between 7-11:30 p.m. and along Comerford Dam Road in the town of Barnet. Tipsters can call State police in St. Johnsbury at 802-748-3111. You can also text tips to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword VTIPS or submit a tip online at -- https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=1064
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