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Entries in Melissa Jenkins (2)

Wednesday
Mar282012

Melissa Jenkins Son, 2, Tried to Demonstrate Mom Was Strangled

Comstock/Thinkstock(ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt.) -- Melissa Jenkins' 2-year-old son Ty apparently witnessed his mother's strangulation and tried to tell police what happened by pulling on his neck, according to court documents released Wednesday.

The documents were released following the arraignment Wednesday of Allen Prue, 30, and his wife, Patricia Prue, 33, in the death of the well liked Vermont science teacher.

The St. Johnsbury couple are being charged with second-degree murder and improper disposal of a body, dumping Jenkins' naked body in a shallow river.

The Prues' motive for murder remains unclear, however the couple's second degree murder charge indicates that police don't have evidence that it was premeditated.

Jenkins' son was asleep when police found him inside his mother's idling SUV Sunday evening.

The toddler had a difficult time telling police what he saw, claiming "a boy" and "Michael Jordan" were in the car with his mother, court papers said.

"At one point the child said that his mommy cried and he pulled on the back of his neck," the documents stated.

On Sunday night, Patricia Prue used a prepaid phone she purchased earlier that day to call Jenkins, 33, and ask for help, claiming her car had broken down, the court papers say.

When Jenkins arrived, Allen Prue told police he strangled the single mother.

Allen Prue had plowed Jenkins' driveway several years ago and had asked her on a date. Jenkins' friend told police she had been "uncomfortable" around Prue. When he showed up at her home last fall to offer his services, the friend told police Jenkins declined and said she would call him if she ever needed him.

Jenkins told her ex-boyfriend in a phone call Sunday that she was going to help someone who had plowed her driveway in the past. When the boyfriend did not hear back from her later that night, he found her vehicle and alerted police.

A business card that said "Good News Prue Snow Plowing and Towing Service Call For Free Estimate" was found in Jenkins' vehicle, documents stated.

Detectives said they traced the call for help Jenkins received to a prepaid cell phone that was purchased by someone with Patricia Prue's date of birth, and surveillance video showed Patricia and Allen Prue purchasing the cell phone at a Walmart in Littleton, N.H.

Prue told police he wanted to "get a girl" on Sunday night, and after he was confronted with evidence, confessed to the murder, documents stated.

The documents depict a grisly scenario, stating that Prue told police he began to strangle Jenkins after she got out of her car to help him, and that Patricia Prue jumped in and assisted in the strangulation.

"Allen Prue advised that she stopped moving and he put her in the backseat of his vehicle and left. On the drive back to their house, Patricia Prue choked her in the vehicle again to ensure she wasn't breathing," the documents stated.

They left Jenkins' son in his mother's SUV with the engine running.

Once the couple were back at their home on Old County Road, they allegedly stripped Jenkins, laid her body on a tarp, and doused her with bleach.

The Prues stuffed her body in the car and drove to a boat launch on the Connecticut River where they weighed her naked body down with cinder blocks before dumping it into the water and covering it with branches, court papers say.

Jenkins' body was found on Monday by police.

News of the arrests were welcomed in the tight-knit town of 8,000, which had been on edge since the popular teacher was murdered.

St. Johnsbury Academy, a private school where Jenkins taught science and coached freshman girls' basketball, will host a memorial service for her on Friday in the gymnasium.

Students and staff will be encouraged to break dress code and wear pink, a color the school said Jenkins wore often, to celebrate her life and raise money for the Melissa Jenkins Memorial Fund.

Copright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar272012

Vermont Teacher Melissa Jenkins Was Murdered, Autopsy Concludes

Panoramic Images/Getty(ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt.) -- Vermont teacher Melissa Jenkins was murdered, an autopsy concluded Tuesday, but police declined to disclose the cause of death.

The body of Jenkins, 33, who was a teacher from St. Johnsbury, Vt., was found on a dark Vermont road Sunday night. Her SUV was found running with her 2-year-old son Tie inside.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Jenkins, and our thoughts are with her family and friends," the lead investigator, State Police Maj. Ed Ledo, said in a statement. "We remain committed to solving this case and to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for the death of Ms. Jenkins."

Residents of the town of fewer than 8,000 people, which sits roughly 40 miles from the Canadian border, were stunned after her disappearance and the discovery of the body.

Jenkins' uncle, Marty Beattie, told ABC News the toddler is being cared for by the slain woman's parents while they work out a plan with the child's father, B.J. Robertson.

Robertson said the child has been unable to express what happened to his mother.

For now, he told ABC News he has "just been loving him when I am with him."

Beattie said he believes police have accumulated enough evidence to result in an arrest in the near future.

"She put herself in a bad situation. Wrong place, wrong time," he said.

Police warned the tight-knit town to remain vigilant, fearing the killer could strike again.

"I cannot disclose the details of how the body was found or the condition of the body, but this death is considered suspicious," Det. Sgt. Walter Smith said Monday. "We don't know if it's an isolated incident. We expect the public to use all diligence and vigilance while out and about."

More than 100 friends and family members braved frigid winds at a candlelight service Monday for the teacher, who taught science at St. Johnsbury Academy, a boarding school of about 970 students. The single mother, who was also working on her master's degree, had a knack for teaching young people, according to St. Johnsbury headmaster Tom Lovett.

Jenkins was also a freshmen basketball coach and a dorm proctor until the birth of her son. She also worked a second job, moonlighting part-time as a waitress at the Creamery Restaurant in Danville, Vt.

Jenkins' vehicle was recovered Sunday evening near signs of a struggle after a friend who had been looking for the mother contacted the police. The body that is believed to be her was found in the nearby town of Barnet, Vt. Police say Jenkins had no restraining orders out on anyone.

Family members believe Jenkins left home to help someone with car trouble, but exactly whom she planned to meet is a mystery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio