WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) More than 40 hours-- that's how long it took for the public to be notified about the manhunt for alleged rapist and kidnapper Everett Simpson. But it turns out police knew much sooner.
A police spokesman told WCAX News on Monday that they learned of Simpson's escape from a treatment facility on Saturday after Simpson allegedly sexually assaulted a New Hampshire woman.
Wednesday, Vermont State Police changed their story and acknowledged they were made aware of Simpson's escape Friday, the day before he is accused of targeting a random woman and her son in a mall parking lot.
Our Dom Amato has an hour by hour look at the events that led to Simpson's alleged crime spree and capture.
Everett Simpson is no stranger to the authorities. Even before this past weekend, the 41-year-old had multiple charges in multiple counties including child cruelty, lying to cops, assaulting an officer and stealing a car.
When WCAX News spoke with Everett Simpson's brother, Johnnie Simpson, we learned Everett was transferred to the Valley Vista treatment facility because he was going through withdrawal in jail.
"He would cry to me saying how sick he was. He could barely keep it together," Johnnie said.
To help Everett with his recovery, a Caledonia County judge lowered Everett's bail so he could be released for treatment in Bradford. He posted bail that same day, Thursday, Jan. 3, and arrived at Valley Vista at 11 p.m. that night.
Johnnie says Everett's oldest sons dropped him off.
"They drove him to Valley Vista, and said goodbye," Johnnie said. "Everything was great."
The next night, police say Valley Vista called dispatch to report Everett had left the facility. He was last seen around 8:30 p.m.
There was no sign of Everett until about 8 a.m. Saturday, when another trooper received a report of a stolen vehicle in Newbury, not far from the treatment facility Simpson left the day before. They were able to track the car to New Hampshire using GPS.
"I don't know why he went to Manchester but I believe it was to get a vehicle," Johnnie said. "It was easier, he knows the location very well out there, he's lived out there too."
The vehicle was found by police in Manchester at 8:37 a.m., soon after the alert was sent.
Around 12:45 p.m., police say Everett Simpson kidnapped a New Hampshire woman and her 5-year-old son and drove them back to Vermont to the Bradford and Fairlee area. The victim told a federal investigator Everett was looking for his wife, Sherise, because he thought she was cheating on him.
"I knew he was going after his wife, I knew it," Johnnie said.
Multiple emergency calls were made to the Thetford Police Department around 3:45 p.m. about a female screaming for help and trying to get out of a silver sedan on Route 5. That's when police say Everett drove to a hotel in White River Junction, sexually assaulted the woman and took off.
"It's destroyed our family as well," Johnnie Simpson said. "We are all upset because I can only imagine what them two are going through and we're all really devastated for their family."
Vermont State Police say additional steps should have been taken, including getting an arrest warrant when they learned Simpson first escaped, issuing a "be on the lookout" alert, and informing the public.
We don't know if Vermont State Police are taking any direct action because of this, but we do know Tpr. Sean Brennan of the St. Johnsbury barracks was suspended with pay the same day VSP said they were looking into what happened. They would not provide any details or the reasoning for suspension.
Court documents show Everett Simpson's wife, Sherise, also spent time at Valley Vista. She was also charged with cruelty to a child in the same case as her husband. That led to her son being put in DCF custody. Sherise Simpson is also charged with nine counts of felony prescription fraud after she allegedly stole oxycodone and hydrocodone from patients when she worked at the Barre Gardens Nursing Home this past February.
A Vermont man charged with kidnapping a woman and her son and later sexually assaulting the woman has been scheduled to appear in federal court in Burlington.
Everett Simpson is due to appear in federal court in Burlington on February 7.