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Police: Search for Brooke at Crucial Stage - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police: Search for Brooke at Crucial Stage

Brooke Bennett Brooke Bennett
Col. James Baker Col. James Baker

Bethel, Vermont - July 1, 2008

"She was really happy all the time. Always had a smile on her face. Nothing got her down," says Spencer Brown.

Brown shoots hoops in his Braintree yard and talks about his missing friend, Brooke Bennett.

"She was a really nice girl. We like to play sports, she was just all around a good girl to hang out with. She made friends really easily," he says.

Brown has been friends with Bennett since she first moved to Vermont from Alabama four years ago.

Bennett was last seen on surveillance video leaving the Cumberland Farms in Randolph Wednesday morning. A massive State Police investigation has ensued-- uncovering scores of evidence including some of the 12-year-old's personal belongings.

"We are at a very crucial stage of the investigation and for us to comment on evidence is going to jeopardize our ability to close out this case," says Vt. State Police Col. James Baker.

Baker did say that the current focus of the investigation remains on the home of Michael Jacques, Bennett's uncle. He was the last person to have contact with Bennett before she disappeared and is considered a person of interest in the case.

"I believe we are making great progress," says Baker. "I think we are eliminating possibilities where she may be. I just don't want to be in the business of predicting how close we are."

Bennett's friend is just trying to make sense of the whole scenario.

Asked if he thinks she might have run away, Brown replies, "She might have. Because the last couple months she's been kind of tense. Just, you know, wanting to get away somewhere."

But Brown says that Bennett loved Vermont and he is hopeful that she will return soon.

"I'm just hoping she comes home OK and nothing bad happened to her," he says.

That's the scenario everyone is hoping for.

There will be a candlelight vigil tomorrow night for Brooke. It will take place Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at the gazebo on Main Street in Randolph. The public is invited.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

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