Category Archives: Melissa Jenkins

Documents: Couple lured teacher with plea for help; body dumped in Connecticut River

The Associated Press

ST. JOHNSBURY — Court documents say a Vermont snow plow driver and his wife lured a beloved prep school teacher from her home by pretending their vehicle had broken down and they needed help, and then strangled her before throwing her body in a river.
The only motive suggested in the court documents filed in the case against 30-year-old Allen Prue and his 33-year-old wife Patricia Prue, of Waterford, was that Allen Prue told police he wanted to “get a girl” on Sunday night.
The documents say that in the past Allen Prue had asked victim Melissa Jenkins out.
Patricia Prue allegedly called Jenkins on Sunday night and told her they needed help.
The Prues were arrested early Wednesday. The documents show Jenkins’ body was found in the Connecticut River. It was weighted down with blocks and was partially covered by branches.

Couple pleads innocent in teacher’s death; held without bail

Allen Prue and Patricia Prue each pleaded innocent to charges of second degree murder and  improper disposal of a body during their arraignments in St. Johnsbury criminal court today.

The Prues, a married couple from Waterford, were arraigned separately on the charges for their alleged roles in the death of Melissa Jenkins, a science teacher and basketball coach at St. Johnsbury Academy.

They were ordered held without bail.

State Police announce arrest of suspects, arraignment set for 11 a.m.


A Waterford couple was arrested on charges of second degree murder and improper disposal of a body in connection with the homicide of Melissa Jenkins.

Allen Prue, 30, and Patricia Prue, 33, husband and wife, were arrested Tuesday night following an investigation by the FBI, Vermont State Police and local authorities.

They are being held at the St. Johnsbury jail and will be arraigned at 11 a.m. today.

Maj. Ed Ledo of the Vermont State Police said Jenkins’ death was caused by strangulation, according to  Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Steven Shapiro.

Police said investigators had combed crime scenes that ranged from Jenkins’ vehicle, where her 2-year-old son had been found, to the remote location on Comerford Dam Road where her body was found, and the Prues’ residence.

Ledo said the Prues’ home had been secured overnight and the investigation was ongoing.

“We are grateful for all of the assistance and support from cooperating agencies, the community, and the press while we investigated this case,” said Major Ed Ledo. “Our efforts in this case are not complete, as there is still much work to be done; however we hope these arrests help bring some closure to the family and friends of Melissa Jenkins.  Members of the Crime Scene Search Team executed a search warrant at the Prue residence last night and will continue throughout the day.  The scene was secured over night.  The dedicated men and women of the Vermont State Police and the FBI assigned to this investigation played a vital role in how quickly Ms. Jenkins’ body was found and the preservation of evidence which ultimately resulted in the apprehension of the Prues.”

The Caledonian-Record reports Allen Prue is a subcontracted newspaper delivery driver for the newspaper as well as an independent snow plow driver and had plowed Jenkins’ driveway once several years ago.

Police said the Prues knew Jenkins.

We’ll update this story following the arraignment.

Newspaper: Police make arrests in Jenkins homicide

From the Caledonian Record:

Police took Allen Prue, 30, and his wife Patricia Prue,33, into custody late Tuesday night in connection with the death of Melissa Jenkins.
Both are being held at the Northeast Region Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury. Police plan a press conference to announce these developments at 10 a.m. today.
Allen Prue was an independent snow plow driver and a sub-contracted newspaper delivery person for the Caledonian-Record.

We’ll update this story as details are released.

Read the full story online at:

Police to hold press conference, 10 a.m.

Press release from the Vermont State Police issued a little after 6 a.m. today promising “significant developments” in the investigation of the death of Melissa Jenkins:


Press Conference Scheduled at 10AM, Update on Homicide of Melissa Jenkins

Detective Sergeant Walter Smith, Bureau of Criminal Investigations - 802-748-3111

St. Johnsbury, VT - 03/28/12 - The Vermont State Police will host a press conference this morning, March 28, at 10AM that will be held at the Comfort Inn, south of St. Johnsbury.

The press conference will address significant developments in the investigations.

The Comfort Inn is located at 703 US Route 5, in St. Johnsbury, VT.

Until that time, no further details pertaining to the investigation will be released.

Jenkins death ruled homicide

State Police have just issued a statement confirming that the body found in Barnet Monday is that of Melissa Jenkins, a 33-year-old science teacher from St. Johnsbury. Police also ruled the death a homicide. The release:

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has concluded the autopsy on the body that was found off Comeford Dam Road in the Town of Barnet yesterday afternoon. The body has positively been identified as being that of Melissa Jenkins, age 33 of St. Johnsbury. Dr. Steven Shapiro, Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the manner of death to be a homicide. The cause of death is being withheld as to not inhibit the progress of the investigation. Continue reading

Classes cancelled at St. Johnsbury Academy today

A hand-written sign on the front of Fuller Hall at St. Johnsbury Academy reads "We Love you Miss Jenkins"

Jenna Pizzi Photo

Classes have been canceled at St. Johnsbury Academy today, out of respect for Melissa Jenkins, a science teacher at the school who was reported missing late Sunday night.

Headmaster Tom Lovett, speaking at a full school assembly this morning, told the school that it’s okay to experience whatever emotion they are feeling right now - he’s been through them all himself. But in the end, he said, “Love always wins.”

Students and faculty at the school are planning a fundraiser Friday where people will wear pink - Jenkins’ favorite color - in her honor.  The school is starting an education fund for Jenkins’ 2-year-old son, who was found alone in her car, parked by the side of Goss Hollow Road in St. Johnsbury and still running, on Sunday night. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the education fund. Some local businesses have also expressed interest in donations. Check the St. Johnsbury Academy web site for details.

Police have said a body found in Barnet yesterday - about 12 miles from Jenkins’ car - is likely the missing teacher, although they have not made a final identification pending today’s autopsy on the body. The criminal investigation into her disappearance continues today, with “several leads” in the case, but police are not releasing much information in order to protect the integrity of the investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting State Police in the matter.

Outside Fuller Hall today, a hand-written sign read “We love you Miss Jenkins.” Paper bags — for holding candles — decorated with messages for Jenkins are lined up on either side of the side walk leading to Fuller Hall, a remnant of Monday night’s vigil for the missing teacher.

-Jenna Pizzi | Staff Writer