Concord shooting victim was subject of heroin investigation

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont State Police Tuesday continued their investigation into the murder of a Waterford man. Michael Pimental, 37, was found shot Sunday morning off a wooded driveway in Concord. Right now authorities are looking for his truck, a blue 2005 Ford F-150 with Vermont plates. They say it's missing and they haven't been able to find it yet.

Neighbors say Michael Pimental lived with his girlfriend in Waterford, and they described a rocky relationship and heard fighting. They say they're not surprised that police are there now.

"Before they moved in next door you could not ask for a nicer quiet or place or town. Not much traffic and not much noise, but ever since they moved in, yeah okay..." said Roy Ash Jr., who has lived on Duck Pond Road in Waterford for the past seven years. But this is the first time he has seen the state police crime lab next to his home.

Tuesday police were combing through the house that police say Pimental and his girlfriend, Krystal Whitcomb, shared.

"We are looking for any evidence that might help us put the puzzle together," said Vermont State Police Capt. Dan Trudeau.

State Police say so far they don't know when Pimental was killed and they say there are no suspects or charges yet. Neighbors say they think drugs are involved.

"There's constantly in and out, in and out, in and out -- anywhere from say 8 to 10 cars a shot," Ash Jr. said.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: What do you think was going on?
Roy Ash Jr.: I know what was going on. We couldn't prove it, but we know what's going on. Drugs.

"I would say they're probably a contributing factor," Capt. Trudeau said.

Federal court documents show Whitcomb may have been dealing heroin for Pimental. Whitcomb's father, Shawn Whitcomb, was also a target in that drug investigation. The Whitcombs were both charged in the federal case on Monday. Both Whitcombs were questioned in Pimental's death.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: Is this a domestic?
Capt. Dan Trudeau: That could be the case too. That's what we're trying to iron out. We're getting a lot of mixed stories so it's a matter of weeding out what's true, what's not true.

Police were also holding down the scene at another location off Back Center Road in Lyndon that they say is being searched in connection to the case. "Crime scene team is busy all over the place," Trudeau said.

Back in Waterford, Ash says he hopes police catch whoever killed Pimental.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: Are you going to hope for some peace and quiet now?
Roy Ash Jr.: I hope so, because it's been rocky the last two or three months.

State police still want to hear from anyone who might know anything about this case. They say anyone with a tip should call the St. Johnsbury barracks.

As a side note, police say this case is not related to a similar ongoing homicide investigation in Barnet. Back in January, Gregory Davis, 49, was found shot dead on the side of a road. Police say they're still doing a lot of work on the Barnet case but that remains unsolved. They also said the state has had a low homicide rate this year so far. The last one was in May.