Melissa Jenkins went missing on Sunday night, leaving her 2-year-old son Tie behind in her running SUV. Authorities found her body yesterday and today announced that they have arrested two people in connection with her death.
At a press conference, police announced that they had arrested Allen and Patricia Prue and charged them with second-degree murder and improper disposal of a body. The couple was apprehended without incident early this morning.
Allen showed up an hour late for his shift on Saturday night, about the time that Jenkins vanished.
A friend found Jenkins' SUV pulled alongside the road with the engine running and Tie in the backseat. Friends and family speculated as to why Jenkins would vanish without a trace and leave her son in the car.
"She left her house with the idea, I think, to try and help somebody," Eric Berry, Jenkins' cousin-in-law, told the Associated Press.
And that is exactly what happened. No motive was given at the time, but court documents show that the Prues lured Jenkins to her death by telling her that their vehicle had broken down, and they needed help.
Allen told police he wanted to "get a girl" though "they didn't plan to get one forcefully," according to the Associated Press.
The couple managed to convince Jenkins to leave her home, and then beat and strangled her before disposing of the body in the Connecticut River. Family and friends remember Jenkins as someone who would do anything for family.
She taught science at the nearby Johnsbury Academy and is described as having "a real gift" by headmaster Tom Lovett.
"She's got a real gift with students who either haven't liked science before or learning science doesn't come easy to them. She's got a real gift with them," Lovett told CBS.
Her 2-year-old son Tie remains in the custody of a friend; his father still refuses to speak publicly about the situation.