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Suspect in brutal Vermont murder of school teacher a native of Boonville

By JOLEEN FERRIS

BOONVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV) - A brutal murder in the state of Vermont has local ties. Suspect Patricia Prue and her husband, Allen Prue, are under arrest for the murder of Vermont teacher Melissa Jenkins.

Vermont State Police found Jenkins' car idling on a Vermont roadway Sunday, her two-year-old son safe in his car seat.

Suspect Prue grew up in Boonville. Her mother, Mona Kirk, still lives in the same red house in the village. Kirk didn't want to appear on camera. She says a call from Patricia's sister in the middle of the night alerted her to her daughter's murder arrest, which completely shocked her.

Kirk said her daughter had a "soft personality", as well as several health considerations and physical limitations such as diabetes and joint problems, which would make it unlikely if not impossible for her to kill anyone, especially as violently as Vermont State Police say Jenkins was killed.

"It was determined by the chief medical examiner the cause of Miss Jenkins' death was the result of strangulation. Allen and Patricia Prue are married. They knew Miss Jenkins and had snowplowed her driveway a couple years ago. Investigation has determined this was an isolated incident," says Major Ed Ledo.

Jenkins body was found in the Connecticut River, weighed down by cinder blocks and doused with bleach. Police say that Allen Prue called her for help, saying that his car had broken down.

Mona Kirk says she's been on the phone with Vermont authorities all morning, trying to get answers about her daughter's arrest, but getting no answers. She may go to Vermont and seek answers in person.

The Prues are in custody without bail in Vermont. There may be additional charges as the investigation continues.

People in Boonville, who knew Vermont murder suspect Patricia Prue as Patty Osborne, were shocked to hear she is sitting in a Vermont jail without bail, accused of the horrific crime.

"Shocked. I'm shocked. I'd never dream that of Patty. Patty was a nice girl, quiet girl, good girl," says Beverly Kirk.

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