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Police investigate Westfield murder - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police investigate Westfield murder

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Peter Lavalette Peter Lavalette
WESTFIELD, Vt. -

Police are investigating a murder in the Northeast Kingdom. The body of a man was found at a home on Fuller Road in Westfield. Police say it appears the man who lived in the home was shot. But they don't know yet exactly when. Neighbors can't believe it.

"No, I was shocked. I mean when he came in the house and told me I said, 'ohhh.' I was scared. I am still scared," Elaine Selmer said.

Selmer said police came to her Westfield house at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, asking about the man who lived in the home behind hers.

"Best we can tell you is he's deceased. And I said, well, it wasn't a week ago he drove by and he said what happened? And they said, well, we're not talking about that yet. That was it," John Selmer said.

Police say Peter Lavalette, 49, of Derby, was pulled over early Tuesday morning in the state of Indiana for a traffic violation and confessed to being involved in a homicide in Vermont. Police came to a home on Fuller Road early Tuesday to verify those comments. That's when they located the victim. Police haven't said how long the body had been on the property before being discovered. Neighbors didn't know the victim well.

"I met him once and that was last fall, and he said he was going home for the winter. I guess he had a place in New York. And that's all I know," John Selmer said.

Police are not releasing the victim's name until they notify next of kin, but the Selmers and other neighbors say the man, who was in his 50s, kept mostly to himself, spent summers fixing up his home in Vermont and the rest of the year in New York City.

"He seemed to be an ambitious sort, working on his house and running a small business, he said. What, I don't know," John Selmer said.

Police in Indiana have executed a search warrant to search Lavalette's vehicle.

Police say the victim and the alleged killer knew one another. Investigators did not reveal a motive, but said the killing does not appear to be drug-related.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Vt. State Police in Derby at 802-334-8881.

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