CASTLETON — The investigation into the death of a 77-year-old Castleton resident is ongoing, according to a Saturday evening press release from the Vermont State Police.
The release stated that detectives have interviewed numerous witnesses in the area of the homicide and have changed the description of the suspect to a man with short red hair, not dark hair as was mentioned in earlier releases.
All other descriptors of the white male who is approximately 5’10” and was last seen wearing a dark gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack remain the same. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.
Police also stated in the release that the victim, 77-year-old Castleton resident Honoree Fleming, had entered the Rail Trail on Thursday around 4 p.m. from the pavilion area at Castleton College. She reportedly walked south toward Poultney and had been wearing a white and blue striped shirt, black pants and black sneakers. Anyone who saw Fleming walking is asked to contact VSP.
Fleming, a former dean at the college, was found dead on the D&H Rail Trail near 1660 South Street at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday by troopers responding to a call regarding a deceased woman. An autopsy conducted Friday at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington determined the cause of her death was a gunshot wound to the head.
Vermont State University also announced Saturday that Monday classes have been cancelled on its Castleton campus as police continue to investigate the homicide.
The announcement, which was shared via a Facebook post from the university, said that the campus will reopen on Monday to provide a “supportive environment for those who wish to come together.” All events previously scheduled for Monday on campus are also cancelled, including the university’s Open House event.
Castleton students may return to campus from their break week on Sunday or Monday, but regularly scheduled classes will not resume until Tuesday.
Additional police coverage and increased public safety measures will be put in place on the campus through Monday, according to the post, and may be extended through the week.
Police are requesting the public and businesses in the Castleton area to review their surveillance systems and game cameras for the possible suspect from early afternoon to evening hours of Oct. 5.
The VSP also continues to urge the public to remain vigilant of any suspicious individuals or activities and to report anything suspicious to the Vermont State Police at 802-773-9101. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online at vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.