A couple accused of murdering Vermont school teacher Melissa Jenkins lured her from her home by claiming that their vehicle had broken down, court documents revealed today.
Allen Prue, 30, and his wife Patricia Prue, 33, allegedly called the 33-year-old mother out to help them on Sunday night before they strangled and beat her to death.
Having killed her, they allegedly doused her in bleach and dumped her naked body into the Connecticut river.
Allen Prue told police that he wanted to ‘get a girl’ on Sunday night and he had asked Jenkins out in the past, according to the court documents.
Police began searching for the single mother when a friend found her unharmed two-year-old son abandoned in her idling SUV on a remote back road and raised the alarm.
Victim: Melissa Jenkins was found dead on Monday, her toddler was discovered unharmed alone in her running car
Accused: Allen Prue and his wife, Patricia Prue were in court accused of murdering the beloved school teacher and then dumping her body in a river
The only motive suggested in the court documents was that Allen Prue told police he wanted to 'get a girl' on Sunday night, although 'they didn't plan to get one forcefully.'
'They knew Miss Jenkins and had snow plowed her driveway a couple of years ago,' Vermont State Police Major Ed Ledo said.
Jenkins' former boyfriend told police she had told him she had gotten a call from a person who used to plow her driveway and she was going to help them, the documents say.
The ex-boyfriend told police Allen Prue had once asked Jenkins out on a date, and she felt uncomfortable around him.
In court: Allen Prue told police he wanted to 'get a girl' and had asked the victim out before
Charged: Patricia Prue, 33, and her husband face charges of 2nd degree murder and of improperly disposing of a body
Allen Prue later told police he and his wife were driving along the remote road when Patricia Prue called Jenkins and told her they had broken down.
When 33-year-old Jenkins arrived to help, Allen Prue grabbed her and strangled her. They then put the body in the backseat of their car and drove to their home. At some point Patricia Prue strangled Jenkins as well, the documents said.
Back at their home, they put Jenkins' body on a tarp, removed all her clothes and poured bleach on her body. The Prues also removed their clothes and put them on the tarp.
They then drove to a boat access at the Connecticut River, which separates Vermont from New Hampshire, and put Jenkins' body in the water, weighing it down with blocks and concealing it with brush.
They took the tarp and the clothes to New Hampshire where they burned it.
Single mum: Police have made two arrests in relation to the murder of a previously missing Vermont teacher whose SUV was found running with her unharmed two-year-old inside
The Caledonian-Record reported that Allen Prue also worked for the newspaper as a deliveryman who turned up for work an hour late on the night of Jenkins’ death.
'Allen Prue completed his delivery route for the Caledonian Record on both Sunday and Monday nights. Route drivers reported, however, that the Prues arrived an hour late on Sunday night,' the newspaper said.
The killing sent shudders of grief and anxiety through the town's few thousand residents, with the community desperate to find the killers of the 33-year-old single mother.
Community members will be relieved by the arrests of the married couple as they speculated earlier in the week who could have killed a single mother they described as kind and helpful.
Following the court appearance, Allen Prue's mother, Donna Prue, said her son has never been in trouble with the law before and she has faith he didn't commit the crime.
'I do not believe he would ever do this because he didn't have it in him. I have nothing against her (Patricia); I don't have nothing bad to say about either one,' Donna Prue said.
'We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Jenkins, and our thoughts are with her family and friends,' said the lead investigator, State Police Maj Ed Ledo.
A makeshift memorial of luminaries - white paper bags with individual notes from students on them - lined the entry to a main building at the prestigious St Johnsbury Academy, where Jenkins worked as a science teacher. The boarding school also serves as the public high school for St Johnsbury, a town of about 6,200 about 40 miles south of the Canadian border.
Arrested: The married couple appeared in court accused of strangling and beating their victim to death
Melissa Jenkins was listed missing after a friend found her abandoned 2006 silver Suzuki Grand Vitara on the side of a road, a couple have been charged with her murder
Investigation: Vermont State Police investigate at Allen and Patricia Prue's home
Between 100 and 200 students and faculty members gathered at the academy on Monday night after the news came out that a body had been found. Classes were canceled on Tuesday.
'They have a range of emotions, just like me,' headmaster Tom Lovett said Tuesday of his students. 'I'm done with the numbness and I'm done with the confusion; there's a lot of sadness and a lot of anger starting to arise.'
Students were writing letters to Jenkins' two-year-old-son, Tyrell Javon Robertson, known as Ty, so he could eventually know how she had changed their lives, Mr Lovett said.
Jenkins taught science and had served as the freshman girls basketball coach at the academy, a school of about 970 students that was established in the 1840s and whose alumni include President Calvin Coolidge.
Abandoned: Jenkins' two-year-old son was found inside the car with the engine running
Jenkins grew up in Danville, a tight-knit town west of St Johnsbury where she attended the Danville School, which has about 300 students.
'All the kids go through K-12 school together. They play basketball together. Most of them have worked at my store or here at The Creamery,' said Marty Beattie, Jenkins' uncle through his first wife, and the owner of Mary's Quick Stop a store on U.S. Route 2.
'They've laughed together, they've played together,' he said. 'So it's not all just genetic, but we're one big family.'
Violent crime is rare in picturesque northeastern Vermont but not unknown.
In September 2010, Pat O'Hagan, a 78-year-old grandmother, disappeared from her home in Sheffield, about 20 miles north of St Johnsbury. Her body was found almost a month later about 10 miles from her home in Wheelock.
The Prues, who were arrested early Wednesday, are due in Vermont Superior Court later today and are being held without bail.
They are facing 2nd degree murder charges and charges of improperly disposing of a body.
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In: Regional News
Tags: Couple, married, strangled, teacher, doused, naked, body, bleach,
Location: Sheffield, Vermont, United States (load item map)
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