Adorned in pink, Vt. town remembers Jenkins
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WHDH) -- A Vermont mother and teacher was remembered by her community on Friday at the school where she taught.
Family, friends, students and the governor of Vermont joined together at St. Johnsbury Academy to pay tribute to Melissa Jenkins, where she was a science teacher. A memorial service was held at the school’s gymnasium on Friday at 4 p.m.
People began streaming in late Friday afternoon, but they started preparing for Jenkins’ memorial earlier in the day. Those remembering Jenkins wore pink, her favorite color.
Locals said the public service will help start the healing process.
“It’s just the gathering of the community. It’s just one great big hug for everybody,” said Anna Gallien, who attended the memorial.
Randy Rathburn, the man Jenkins called before she died and who found her son, walked past balloon lined streets in the Vermont town.
From Lyndonville over to Danville, where the 33-year-old woman worked part time, to the St. Johnsbury campus, pink was the color of the day with her 2-year-old son, Ty, the focus.
“He says, ‘Mommy’s broken.’ It’s sad and mommy’s gone away, but I don’t know if he understands, ya know?” said Marion Beattie Cairns, Jenkins’ relative.
Those around Ty do, even people three towns away who never met the family. Wade Shepard decorated his house in pink in Jenkins’ honor.
“I feel bad for that little boy. How can anybody do that to a little boy? Ya know, any child to leave him motherless,” said Shepard.
Allen Prue is charged with killing the teacher and using his wife, Patricia Prue, with luring Jenkins to her death. Patricia Prue is also charged in the death. Evidence seized from the Prue’s home and car include a bottle of bleach, boots, tape and other items allegedly linking the couple to the crime.
President Barack Obama, who was in Burlington on Friday, offered his condolences to Jenkins’ family.
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