Police find unexamined evidence in Vt. teacher murder case - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police find unexamined evidence in Vt. teacher murder case

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Allen Prue Allen Prue
Patricia Prue Patricia Prue
Melissa Jenkins Melissa Jenkins

More than two years after the murder of a popular Northeast Kingdom teacher, new evidence has turned up in the case. Detectives working to bring justice to Melissa Jenkins' loved ones just got a search warrant for evidence stored since her death.

The popular school teacher was kidnapped, raped and killed in March 2012. Since then, the community has waited for justice for Melissa Jenkins.

"It has been taking a long time," said Ed Poginy of St. Johnsbury. "I hope that we do get it resolved soon, but I want to make sure that everything is in order when we do it."

Allen and Patricia Prue are accused of the brutal crime. Investigators gathered evidence after the murder, enough to charge the couple with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Now, Vermont State Police have requested a search warrant to have 15 additional items reviewed by the state crime lab. That evidence has been in police custody since shortly after Jenkins' murder.

In the search warrant, Lt. Walter Smith, who is handling the case, says he "learned that some items were still being held in the Vermont Forensic Laboratory." Some of the items that have not been examined include a hard drive, memory cards, a disc adaptor, video cassettes, an SD card, a disc, videos and a notebook.

"I hope it really clears things up and gets it over with. I really do," said Candy Crocker of Peacham.

News of this new evidence has the community hopeful a resolution to the case comes soon after thorough examination of these new items.

"I hope it gets over with for the family," Crocker said. "It must be terrible for them to have to listen to this all the time."

We did reach out to Lt. Smith to find out why this evidence was not previously submitted for examination back in 2012, but had not yet heard back when this story was published. Vermont State Police say it is not unusual for evidence to be submitted throughout a case, sometimes due to the large amounts of evidence that need to be examined.

The Prue trials are expected to begin in the fall. State's Attorney Lisa Warren says she does not believe this additional evidence will cause any delays.

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