Residents in Sheffield say the news that three men have admitted to killing Pat O'Hagan in 2010 came as a shock, but it's information they thought would have come sooner.
"A certain measure of relief but we're still waiting for them to be put away," said resident Bev Frost. She has lived in Sheffield for 13 years just a few doors down from Pat O'Hagan's home. New evidence shows that three men who were using the home next door to make meth in 2010 have admitted to raping and killed O'Hagan when she found out.
"For something like this to happen to her is horrible. It's horrifying," said neighbor Terry Malone.
Michael Norrie, Richard Fletcher and Keith Baird, all of Sheffield, are jailed on separate charges in other cases. Investigators say Fletcher and Norrie have implicated themselves in the murder and disposal of O'Hagan's body. Federal prosecutors, pushing for a tough sentence for Fletcher in a child porn case, filed court papers saying state prosecutors do not plan to charge him in connection with O'Hagan's death for lack of evidence.
But Vt. Attorney General Bill Sorrell disputes that.
"That's the U.S. Attorney's office saying that and again, I remain hopeful that we will gather enough evidence," Sorrell said.
Neighbors like Bev Frost says they've already waited three years and are frustrated that despite the confessions no arrests have been made.
"It's just awful that it has taken so long to get this information," Frost explained.
"Of course it's frustrating, but we shouldn't bring charges prematurely before we feel we have enough evidence to obtain a conviction," Sorrell said.
For Frost, the new information is bringing more questions than answers.
"I have a lot of questions. I want to make sure there's nobody else. I want to make sure that the legal system works and that they're not going to be out on the street on bail next week," Frost said.
Terry Malone hopes this is one step closer to closing the book on a sad chapter in the otherwise peaceful town.
"I hope it does [bring closure] for her for her family. She needs to be at peace for this. So don't her family," Malone said.
Sorrell says there is no statute of limitations, so prosecutors could bring charges in the case when they find more evidence.