Neighbors had worried about safety where homicide happened

HINESBURG, Vt. (WCAX) Still no arrests or named suspects in a homicide investigation in Hinesburg.

David Auclair was found dead Thursday evening at the LaPlatte Headwaters Town Forest. He was shot several times.

Our Christina Guessferd is following the case and learning that people who live near that trailhead have been worried about safety for a while.

Neighbors say this isn't the first time they've witnessed suspicious activity in the parking lot at night, including cars loitering with their headlights on and engines running. They say the lot is the perfect breeding ground for criminal activity.

Now, one family is demanding the town take some responsibility for what happened to Auclair.

"It's disturbing to think that bullets could have traveled that 300 feet, struck our house or gone through a window," neighbor Craig Chevrier said.

Chevrier says specifically his 11-year-old son's window. He says he's frustrated police are relying on neighbors' video to investigate Auclair's death when he says the town should already have a camera on that parking lot.

"If we had one video surveillance camera at the parking lot with a sign that said 24/7 video surveillance, none of us would be involved in this investigation because either the crime would be solved by now or it never would have happened," Chevrier said.

He says his wife saw the headlights of a pickup truck in the parking lot, then heard at least five gunshots at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday. A neighbor called 911. Hinesburg police arrived at the scene about an hour later.

Reporter Christina Guessferd: Would you say that it's a safe spot?
Andrea Morgante: Absolutely, absolutely, people are back there all the time.

Morgante used to be on the town select board and was involved with the land trust that established the trail network in 2008. She says a lack of surveillance and police patrolling is just what comes with the territory when you live in a rural community like Hinesburg.

Christina Guessferd: So you don't think there's a need for more surveillance over there?
Andrea Morgante: No. I mean, if we're going to have surveillance there, where are we not going to surveil?

But Chevrier says there should be a balance between freedom and protection.

"I also don't want to wake up in the middle of the night with bullets striking my house," he said.

WCAX News reached out to Hinesburg police Monday and Tuesday to talk with them about this and neighbors' concerns. We had not yet heard back when this story was published.

CORRECTION OF ORIGINAL STORY:
Chevrier's wife says she saw one car's headlight's parked in the parking lot.


David Auclair