String of Suspicious Deaths Baffle Vermont State Police

PLAINFIELD, Vt. (AP) – Hunters made a grim discovery in a remote area in Plainfield, Vermont, when they found a body under suspicious circumstances. This marked the second time in a week that hunters found a body in central Vermont. The Vermont State Police have reported seven suspicious deaths since October 5, a significant increase compared to the nine reported homicides in the state for all of 2021. However, in 2022, the number spiked to 25 reported homicides. No arrests have been made in any of the seven recent cases.

According to Col. Matthew Birmingham, the head of Vermont State Police, the spree of killings in such a short time frame is “a little unprecedented” for Vermont. The recent spike in homicides has disrupted the previously low homicide rate in the state, with only nine recorded before October. Birmingham also noted that the recent death investigations are complex and unusual.

The most recent case occurred when hunters in Plainfield found a body in the woods along Gore Road. The Vermont State Police stated that evidence at the scene suggested the death was suspicious. An autopsy was planned to determine the cause and manner of death, as well as the victim’s identity, and the state police encouraged the public to share any tips related to the crime.

The investigations into all seven deaths are very active and ongoing, with some expected to be resolved sooner than others. The demands of conducting multiple investigations at once, often requiring detailed forensic work, are testing the limits of the state police. Birmingham also mentioned they are being challenged on the resource side of the house, as the agency is devoting extensive resources to the multiple investigations.

Police are receiving assistance from federal agencies, and the state police Major Crime Unit, which includes detectives, a technology unit, crime scene search teams, and victim services, is being aided by other units within the state police to help with the investigations.

In conclusion, the Vermont State Police are facing an unusual spike in suspicious deaths, which has strained their resources. The investigations into all seven deaths remain active, with some making progress while others are slower. However, Birmingham expressed confidence in making significant progress towards resolving them.