Police publicly acknowledge partial confession in O'Hagan case - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. police publicly acknowledge partial confession in O'Hagan case

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Michael Norrie Michael Norrie
Pat O'Hagan Pat O'Hagan
Michael Norrie - Courtesy: Todd Wellington/Caledonian-Record Michael Norrie - Courtesy: Todd Wellington/Caledonian-Record

It's a crime that broke the hearts of many in the tiny town of Sheffield.

"A day doesn't go by that I don't think about Pat. She was my best friend," Norma Williams said.

But more than two years after Pat O'Hagan's murder, Williams is still waiting for answers.

"It doesn't get more serious than a 78-year-old grandmother, mother, getting taken from her home and found dead in the woods 10 miles from her house," Vt. State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said.

To date, the Vermont State Police have not made any arrests in the case. Nor have they named any suspects.

"We believe that more than one person is involved. We still do," Ledo said.

On Wednesday in federal court, a seemingly unrelated firearms case revealed that police do have a partial confession in O'Hagan's murder. A state police detective testified that when questioning 22-year-old Michael Norrie about a stolen gun related to the federal case, the Sheffield man began to talk about his role in O'Hagan's killing, but then stopped cooperating with investigators. Norrie has been in custody for more than a year.

"Were we ready for that to come out yesterday? No, but we'll deal with it and move on," Ledo said.

Despite the first public acknowledgement of a confession, Ledo would not say if Norrie is a suspect in the grandmother's 2010 abduction and murder. Police continue to tell the public they're not at risk, but it's doing little to calm mounting frustration.

"I want to know what happened to her," Williams said.

"We can't let frustration get in the way of doing the right thing and making sure this process is done correctly," Ledo said. "We get one shot at bringing a solid case for prosecution."

State police say they've presented their case to local prosecutors and the attorney general's office. They're now waiting for those authorities to bring charges and are unsure if news of this partial confession will speed up the process.

Reporter Jennifer Reading: When do you think charges will be brought in Pat O'Hagan's murder?

Maj. Ed Ledo: I don't know.

Norrie has six prior criminal convictions dating back to 2008. They're a mix of felonies and misdemeanors involving stealing, drug crimes and running from police, but nothing violent.

Police say O'Hagan's murder involved multiple people and indicated that those individuals may already be in custody for other crimes.

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