Police Search For Missing Vt. Woman

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(Host) The FBI and the Vermont Air National Guard have joined the search for a St Johnsbury woman who is believed to have been abducted from her car Sunday night.

VPR’s Charlotte Albright reports.

(Albright) Melissa Jenkins is a thirty-three-year-old science teacher at St Johnsbury Academy and a part-time waitress at the Creamery Restaurant in Danville.

Police say she was reported missing by a friend at about 11:30 Sunday night, about three hours after the friend last heard from her.

Jenkins’ SUV was found on the side of Goss Hollow Road, near her house, and her two-year old son was inside the vehicle, unharmed. 

Major Ed Ledo of the Vermont State Police Criminal Divison says the engine was still running, and there were signs of a struggle. He says police are following up on numerous leads:

(Ledo) "I can’t tell you how many people we’ve interviewed already today but it’s been substantial. She is very well known within this community, very well respected and cared for and cared about so we are pulling out every resource that we can in order to find her and bring her back safely."

(Albright) Ledo says the child was interviewed and the search is being conducted within a several-mile radius from where the car was found.

Eric Berry is married to Jenkins’s cousin. He says that Jenkins is a beloved family member who makes friends easily and takes good care of her son.

(Berry) "She was doing very well in life and working on her master’s degree to try to complete that by the end of this summer. She obviously had her life together in a really good way and was a tremendous single parent, or not really a single parent, I don’t think. I think she was a great parent."

(Albright) Berry says family and friends are in agony watching and waiting as law enforcement agencies conduct the search.

(Berry) "Everyone’s in shock as far as the family goes right now. We’re all hopeful that something turns in a positive direction."

(Albright) As of now, police share that hope.

For VPR News, I’m Charlotte Albright

(Host) State police ask anyone with information on the case to call the St Johnsbury barracks at 802-748-3111.

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