I’m pretty secretive about myself online. I give readers my name, and my husbands name, but I protect my children’s names just because eventually Google will rule the earth and I want to protect them as much as I can. Wait – Google already rules the earth. Ah well.
I live in Vermont. I’ve always been proud to live in Vermont. Scott and I live in a very small area of Vermont and are so rural that it takes us over an hour just to get to a Walmart (BTW, Target has boycotted VT – what’s up with that?). I love the fact that you can walk down the street, smile at someone, and know, with relative certainty, that they will smile back at you. I love the fact that there are under 100 kids in my children’s school, and the simple fact that you can go into the woods and escape from everything if you want to.
It’s also a fairly safe area to live in. There are no real gangs, you don’t hear about car jackings or muggings, like, EVER, and while we do have some crime, it’s nothing compared to what I’ve heard about in large cities.
That’s why when we heard on Monday morning that a local teacher – one who lives a very short distance away from us – was missing and her 2 year old son was found alive and unharmed in her car, the entire area went on alert and started looking for her. A few hours later, she was found – dead. It rocked the community.
This is Melissa Jenkins. Isn’t she gorgeous?
She has a 2 year old son and is a single mom.
Vermont is a great place to live, but there have been a number of documented cases where a murder occurs and no one is charge for a very long time. Both Scott and I worried that whomever did this to this sweet woman (who was a science teacher and worked part-time as a waitress as well) would never be brought to justice.
We were wrong.
Yesterday there was a press conference where it was announced that they had taken two people into custody who were being charged with 2nd degree murder and improperly disposing of a body. The affidavit documents state that Melissa Jenkins had been strangled and was left, nude, near (or partially in) a lake and was covered up with boughs.
Two people who strangled a single, hard-working mother.
Two MARRIED PEOPLE.
Allen Prue and his wife, Patricia Prue, were arraigned and are currently being held without bail in a local jail. According to court documents the two lured the sweet teacher onto a deserted road by claiming that their vehicle had broken down. The documents also state that Allen “got the idea to get a girl”, and that was how this whole thing stated.
What they didn’t plan on was Melissa being far smarter than they were. She called friends and told them that she was going to help the man who used to plow her driveway, and even left her business card with information on it on her counter. She took all of the precautions that you should take whenever you’re meeting someone and feel uncomfortable, and she still died.
I find a slight comfort in the situation – my number 1 comfort is that her 2 year old son is fine. He was unharmed (aside from his mother being murdered). I told Scott that I’m sure that her last thoughts were of him, and that she is grateful that he is unharmed, as any mother would be. My second comfort is the fact that Allen and Patricia have been arrested. Allen basically confessed although he later went on to plead not guilty. I have no idea where they will find a jury for this, if it goes to trial, because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows about it.
One thing that most people don’t understand, though, is why this is such a big deal. People are murdered in places like New York City and Los Angeles all the time – why is one person being killed worthy of being on the front page of MSNBC?
Because these types of things don’t happen often here. We’re not a city or state – we’re a community. We band together and try to protect one another. Even now there are numerous fundraisers going on to raise money for her son’s care. We DO smile and try to help one another, and it’s nothing to ask a complete stranger on the street if you can borrow their phone and to have them say “sure” and let you.
We’re a small community. A heinous thing happened. An amazing woman, who apparently I went to college with although I do not remember her (we had separate majors) was killed, a child was left without a mother.
The community bands together. We help one another through this. We support her son and do everything we can to make life as easy as possible for those caring for him.
We are a community. This matter will not be taken lightly. Justice will be served.
I try to find comfort in that.