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Family, neighbors react to Jenkins' death and arrests - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Family, neighbors react to Jenkins' death and arrests

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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -

Wednesday night flowers mark where 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins went missing.

Down the road, neighbors can't believe she's gone.

"I've known her since she was a little girl," said neighbor Diane Pierce. "Melissa always had a smile and she has a beautiful smile."

Pierce watched Melissa grow up alongside her two kids. Later in life, the pair became colleagues at St. Johnsbury Academy.

At the Creamery in Danville, Wednesday's menu holds special significance.

"Melissa had the incredible penmanship, she always wrote my menus, so the menu I had to write, but it was done in pink in Melissa's memory," said Marion Beattie Cairns, creamery owner and Jenkins' relative.

Village residents have spent much of the past few days glued to the T-V in the restaurant.

Wednesday, the arrest and arraignment of Melissa's alleged murderers brought only temporary relief.

"I was extremely happy to hear the news, but I was so unhappy when I heard what they did to her, it's so unkind, it's wrong," said Beattie Cairns.

"It's just unbelievable, it's almost like you're watching a movie, or reading a horror book," State Representative, Kitty Beattie Toll says the community's loss is starting to feel real.

She's related to Jenkins, but says everyone in the small village sees themselves as part of Melissa's extended family.

They're leaning on each other for support

"We're there when times are tough and we stick together," said Toll.

In St. Johnsbury, Pierce says the fond memories from next door are helping her to cope, "just hold onto those, cause that's what gets you through things like this, is to think of the good things."

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