By Michael Bielawski
Police are investigating the suspicious death of a woman on a Castleton trail with a potentially dangerous suspect on the loose. Also, a suspect from another shooting incident was apprehended in Burlington.
Suspicious death and dangerous suspect
Yesterday police responded around 4:30 PM to a call about the dead body of a female discovered on the the Rail Trail near 1587 South Street in Castleton. Police found the body when they arrived at the scene.
The suspect is still on the loose. The police report states, “A witness in the area reported a possible suspect was northbound on the rail trail walking towards the Castleton Campus after gunshots were heard. The witness described the male as a white male approximately 5’10”, short dark-colored hair, last seen wearing a dark gray t-shirt and carrying a black backpack.”
The suspect is considered “armed and dangerous.”
The investigation is considered to be in the early stages and it involves collaborative efforts of the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Field Force Division, Crime Scene Search Team, Victim Services Unit, and Castleton Police Department.
Police are interested in finding any surveillance or other video that might offer clues to what happened. There will also be a press conference later today at which Vermont State Police Major Daniel Trudeau will offer any new details and answer questions from media.
Bomb threats at multiple locations
Vermont State Police posted a news release on Tuesday that they have investigated multiple bomb threats to certain locations including “critical infrastructure and key resource sectors” throughout the state. The threats came as emails and are similar to another one that was received on Sunday.
“These emails are sent from a gmail.com address and refer to bombs being placed in the targeted location and various wordings similar to ‘Many people will die’ but also uses ‘souls’ and ‘lives.’”
The report continues, “Affected groups are encouraged to report these incidents to local law enforcement in their area. No suspicious items or authentic threats have been discovered at any of the locations.”
Burlington Police recognize and arrest shooting suspect
Police in Burlington caught a break as one of their officers was able to recognize and peaceably apprehend a suspect from a shooting the day before. The shooting occurred a week ago Friday and the apprehension was on Saturday.
The incident involved a gunshot heard on St. Paul Street south of Main Street and north of King Street. There was a single shot heard and there were no apparent victims.
“Responding officers discovered evidence of a gunfire incident in the center of the street. At this time there are no persons known to have been struck by this discharge, which appears to have been a single round,” the initial police report states.
Police Chief Jon Murad praised the officer who was able to recognize the suspect from the street and make the arrest without major incident.
“Once again, I am deeply grateful to Lieutenant Mike Beliveau and our detectives for making difficult investigatory work look so easy. It’s not. And neither is the street sense and familiarity with our local criminals that allows a patrol officer to recognize and apprehend a wanted suspect in the street,” Murad wrote in their report.
School shooting threat
Separate from the bomb threats was a school shooting threat received last Friday regarding Twinfield Union School, a K-12 school taking students from Plainfield and Marshfield.
The threat occurred via email and referenced that a school shooting would occur. KeepVermontSafe.com interviewed the school’s acting superintendent Anne Landry who said that a police presence was maintained at the school.
When Landry was asked if the threat might lead the school board to consider having a school resource officer stationed permanently at the school, she said “Not at this time.”
The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle