Vt. police confirm prep school teacher was killed
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WHDH) -- Vermont police have confirmed that the body found on Monday is that of a missing prep school teacher, and the medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide.
Melissa Jenkins, 33, disappeared from her idling SUV on Sunday, where her 2-year-old son was found inside unharmed.
Jenkins was a science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy, where she also used to coach the freshman girls basketball team.
The headmaster at the school said students were shocked and saddened by the news of their beloved teacher’s death.
“The emotions ranged from fear, ‘how did something like this happen in a safe, small community?’ to real sadness about the loss that I mentioned before. But now there’s some anger at who would do something like this to such a beautiful person,” said Tom Lovett, St. Johnsbury Academy headmaster.
Jenkins’ body was found on a remote road, not far from where she lived. There were signs of a struggle near her car, where her son Ty was discovered in the back seat.
“I heard that somebody knocked on her door, and his car had broke down down the road, and she loaded her 2-year-old into the car and went to help him, and three hours later they found the baby in the car. And then however later it was, they found her body,” said one woman.
Less than 24 hours after the search for Jenkins began, they found her body.
“Although I cannot disclose the details of how the body was found, or the condition of the body, this death is considered suspicious,” said Major Ed Ledo, Vermont State Police.
Jenkins, who grew up in the community, had worked at the academy since 2004, and was working on getting her master’s degree as well.
A vigil was held on Tuesday night where students and friends gathered to mourn the young mother.
"This is a start. It's hard to find right now anything positive coming from it," said Alice Kitchel, a friend of the victim.
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