Vermont State Police conduct manhunt for “armed and dangerous” suspect

Visual Representation of Crime Scene | Credits: Google
Visual Representation of Crime Scene | Credits: Google

Washington DC, United States: The Vermont Police are on a large manhunt after the body of a woman was discovered on a popular trail on the afternoon of Thursday. The police have outlined that they are searching for an “armed and dangerous” suspect.

Following this recovery, police have warned residents and the Castleton campus of Vermont State University has been closed in order to conduct the large manhunt.

According to the preliminary information provided by the Police officials, the update about the body was shared by a passerby who discovered the body along the Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail in Castletown, about 30 miles south of Middlebury.

The person called the police to share information about the body. The officers reached the crime spot at around 4:30 pm on Thursday, the officials of Vermont State Police stated.

What do eyewitnesses have to say about the incident?

According to the details shared by an eyewitness, gunshots were heard and a person, who possibly was the suspect, was seen walking towards the Vermont State University’s Castleton campus. It is to be noted that the campus of the University is just a short distance north of the crime spot.

The investigators were further informed about the looks of the suspects. Accordingly, the suspect was a white man, approximately of height – 5’10”. He had short, dark-colored hair. He was carrying a black backpack and was wearing a dark gray t-shirt.

After gathering information and carrying out the investigation, the Vermont State Police released an official statement, which read, “The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. The public is urged to remain vigilant and alert for suspicious person(s) and activities and to report anything suspicious to the Vermont State Police.”

What actions were taken by the management of the University?

Following this incident, the University has canceled the classes of around 1,900 full-time students for Friday. It also issued a shelter-in-place warning for Thursday evening, which was further extended to Friday.

Vermont State University | Credits: Google Images

The State Police canvassed nearby homes:

The police started the process of investigation in no time. At that time, officers canvassed all the possible houses in the areas where the woman was found dead. The information regarding the same was shared through the Facebook handle of the Town of Castleton.

The social media statement by the town asked the general public to remain cautious and keep the doors and windows of their homes and cars shut and locked. It further urged the residents and citizens to remain aware and attentive to their surroundings.

The social media update by the town read, “Members of the Vermont State Police did a house-to-house canvasing of homes in close proximity to the rail trail last night. The search was unsuccessful and will continue today (Friday).”

“Residents are urged to keep their doors and vehicles locked and not to leave keys in unattended vehicles. Residents are asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity or people to the Vermont State Police,” it noted.

Furthermore, it added that if going into buildings or outbuildings that are not/have not been locked, use the buddy system, meaning have another person with you and have a cell phone with you whenever possible.

The nearby area was sealed off by the State Police and they have asked the general people to stay off the trail so the proofs are not tempted.

Police’s statement:

According to the information shared by the police, the dead body of the woman was brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington to carry out an autopsy on Thursday night. The investigating officer has stated that following the reports of an autopsy will be released, the cause and manner of death will be determined.

The investigation was headed by the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit along with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Field Force Division, Crime Scene Search Team, Victim Services Unit and Castleton Police Department.

Crime spot: 

The crime spot – Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail is a 19.8-mile section of former railroad that cuts through scenic countryside with vistas of the nearby hills, villages, farms, fields and forests, according to its website.

This trail is used for multiple purposes; during summer, it is open to pedestrians, bicyclists and horseback riders, whereas in winter, snowshoers, skiers and snowmobiles use the trail.