A 31-year-old Fair Haven woman with the mental capacity of a teenager is missing and police believe she's been taken out-of-state. It's unclear if she's in danger
Jessica Flanders relies on a wheel-chair for mobility. The Rutland County Sheriff's Department, Vermont State Police and the F.B.I. are searching for Jessica Flanders after she went missing from K-Mart shortly after four p.m. Sunday.
Flanders is about 4'4" tall and weighs approximately 75 pounds. She requires a wheelchair and police say she has a diminished mental capacity - about that of a teenager.
Law enforcement officials stop short of calling it suspicious. "We need to confirm where she is and what she's doing and who she's with," said Rutland County Sheriff Stephen Bernard.
Bernard says they believe Flanders arranged to meet with someone at the doors of the Diamond Run Mall. But, a lack of exterior surveillance cameras has prevented investigators from confirming that yet. "She would have to get into a vehicle," said Bernard, "we checked with the busses and taxis in town and nobody picked her up."
The search began at the mall and Flanders' Fair Haven residence but now extends into Missouri. Flanders has reportedly made calls to friends but didn't provide details as to who she's with or where they're going. "Her cell phone got turned off and we haven't heard from her since," said Bernard.
However, police say those conversations, GPS data, and social media posts lead them to believe Missouri is the destination. The sheriff also says they think they know who she met though they're not publicly releasing a name Monday evening. He added that Flanders and the unidentified individual have likely known each other for at least a few months.
Bernard could not say if the pair have ever met in-person before.
More than 15 people remain on the case, and say they'll continue working around-the-clock until the search for Jessica is complete. If the person Jessica is with does not pose a potential threat it will be up to her custodians - her mother and stepfather - to decide if she should be brought back and whether to press charges.
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:27:22 GMT
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes. The council votedMore >>
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:26:45 GMT
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill passed Tuesday allows an unlimited number of qualified Vermonters to access medical marijuana -- removing theMore >>
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-12 04:26:03 GMT
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman. 43-year-old Craig Dubuque was arrested for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Police sayMore >>
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-03-12 03:35:07 GMT
"You know, people say you might not need it, which is true, but this way you get a choice. I don't have to go out tomorrow," said Lorinda Henry of Milton. Henry says she hit the grocery stores TuesdayMore >>
Parts of Vermont could get up to 24 inches of snow in the coming storm. And VTrans officials are warning drivers they may not be able to keep up with the storm rolling in Wednesday.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-03-12 00:02:07 GMT
"Seems like it was just yesterday. Doesn't seem like it's been two years at all," said Glenda Reandeau of Tupper Lake. Residents of Tupper Lake still have their eyes out for Colin Gillis, a now 20-year-oldMore >>
Colin Gillis of Tupper Lake, N.Y., disappeared two years ago. And authorities are still searching for him. They say the investigation now focuses on tips from the public and from those who were the last to see Gillis.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:17:43 GMT
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser. Authorities say Officer Adam Lucia was one of two officers responding to an aggravated assault call Monday at TopsMore >>
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser.More >>