New information about a murder in the Northeast Kingdom. A 76-year-old from Glover is behind bars for allegedly killing a woman, who friends say, was loved by an entire community.
Two police troopers secured the home on West Street in Barton Saturday morning, while the body of 72-year-old Rachel Coburn was sent to Burlington for an autopsy. On Friday evening, state police took evidence from the house. Police say Coburn died from a single gun shot wound, fired by 76-year-old Carleton Bickford, of nearby Glover.
Bickford told police that he and Coburn got into an argument. He said he left her home and returned with the shot gun. Police say, after an extended period of time, Bickford turned himself in. Police say he also attempted to take his own life.
"There are indications that they were in a romantic relationship that seems to be backed up by some of the statements received by interviews we've done," said Detective Sargent David Petersen of the Vermont State Police.
According to neighbors, Coburn had worked in the cafeteria of Lake Region Union High School for the last 20 years. Residents on West Street can not believe the news.
"I don't know, I'm just totally taken aback," said Patty Bonzor, who lives at the bottom of the hill.
"Shock, dismay, heartbreak. I mean she was a wonderful wonderful lady. She always stopped when I was gardening, enjoying my garden. She was a real pleasant lady to talk to, she walked a lot," Bonzor said.
Neighbors say every morning Bickford would show up with two cups of coffee. One for him, and one for Rachel Coburn.
"There was definitely some inclinations that maybe things weren't going well in the relationship, but I think to say definitively at this point might be a little too early." Petersen said.
Bickford is a retired electrician and lives in Glover. A town that celebrated "Glover Day" Saturday. But, as the festivities went on, whispers of the murder circulated throughout the party.
Those who know Bickford say he never showed signs of violence. Both Bickford and Coburn have lived in the area for many years. A neighbor of the victim say Coburn wasn't just liked, but loved by the entire community.
Bickford will be arraigned on the first degree murder charge Monday in Newport. He is being held for lack of $500,000 dollars bail.