The Vermont Wiki
Advertisement

Melissa Jenkins, a 32 year old single mother and Vermont science teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy as well as part-time waitress at The Creamery Restaurant in Danville, was reported missing after her SUV was found the day of March 25, 2012 parked and abandoned on the side of a rural road in the state of Vermont with her 2-year-old son still inside asleep. Melissa’s remains were found in the Connecticut River the next day on March 26, 2012. (Couple Charged)

Background[]

Mother and "beloved" science teacher Melissa Jenkins was brutally murdered by Allen Prue with the help of his wife Patricia Prue on March 25, 2012.[1] The 32 year old was supposedly lured outside of her house by the suspects using a prepaid phone to call the victim asking for help as they explained that their car had apparently broken down. Once the victim had left her home to help the couple, they started to beat her down as Allen’s wife, Patricia, continued to strangle her to death. The couple proceeded to then strip Melissa’s body of her clothes and burn them along with their own clothes in an effort to destroy any kind of evidence. The body of Melissa Jenkins was then dumped with concrete blocks attached, in order to weigh the body down and dropped into the Connecticut River (Women Admits). Earlier that day, Melissa had called her ex-boyfriend letting him know that she was going to go help Allen and his wife with their broken down car. Later that day when the ex-boyfriend did not hear back from Jenkins, he found her abandoned vehicle and notified the police. The police were lead to arrest the Prues as suspects in this case after the call was made from the ex-boyfriend. Police also found a business card for Allen Prue’s snowing plowing company in Jenkin’s vehicle. Her two-year-old son who was in Melissa’s car and saw his mother being attacked, described to the Police what he saw as strangling by acting out the motion of grabbing his neck (Women Admits). The Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren, said evidence had shown that Allen Prue and Patricia Prue had spent months planning and plotting the crime. The couple had purchased a prepaid cellphone to call Melissa, searched on Patricia’s personal computer “how to kidnap a girl,” and stalked Jenkins as well as purchased a stun gun (Newcomb, Alyssa).

Remains found[]

Melissa Jenkin’s body was found in the Connecticut River wrapped in a large trash bag with concrete weights attached. The body showed several signs of struggle and signs of strangulation as well (Women Admits).

Perpetrators[]

Allen Prue, 30, and his wife Patricia Prue, 33, were both charged with second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison after they planned and worked together on committing the murder of Melissa Jenkins (Patricia Prue). Allen Prue owns a snow plowing company and Melissa Jenkins was a customer of his company. Although Allen claims there to be no motive, the suspected motive of Melissa Jenkin’s murder has been allegedly associated with the fact that Allen Prue’s company plowed the Jenkin’s family’s driveway in which he had gained an attraction for Melissa. Allen had supposedly asked Melissa on a few dates trying to get her to grab dinner with him however she said no as she had told one of her friend’s that Mr. Prue made her feel “uncomfortable.” After Melissa reportedly told Allen to stop talking to her, he started to plan the murder with his wife (Newcomb, Alyssa).

Arrest and trial[]

Since the murder, both of Jenkins' killers have been sentenced to life in prison and charged with second degree murder.[2] Patricia Prue was charged February 13, 2015 in Caledonia County Court after pleading guilty to murder, the conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping. The husband of Patricia, Allen Prue, was sentenced to life in prison. He and his wife are not allowed to have any communication with each other. However, Allen Prue's appeal of his conviction is waiting to come in Vermont Supreme Court. During court trials, Patricia’s lawyer attempted to get her off not guilty of the murder of Melissa Jenkins, by claiming that she was mentally ill with post- traumatic syndrome, general anxiety, panic attacks as well as personality disorder (Rathke, Lisa). However, these claimed mental illnesses did not save Patricia Prue from being charged and sentenced to life in prison. Allen blames the actual act of killing Melissa Jenkins on his wife Patricia as she was the one who allegedly physically strangled Melissa.[3] Patricia Prue admitted to being guilty of choking Melissa Jenkins to death in attempt to be allowed to maintain written contact with her husband, Allen Prue, who is serving a life sentence as well. In order to avoid trial, Patricia Prue accepted her life sentence without parole (Rathke, Lisa). She told the Jenkins' family in court she wished she had gone to receive mental help and that she regrets taking the life of Melissa. Patricia states, "I stand here before you today willing to give my freedom for the loss of her life. I've asked for life without the possibility of parole, that's how I want to show you how deeply and profoundly sorry I am for whatever part I played in the death of your family member" (Patricia Prue Sentenced to Life).

Memorial[]

Fellow teachers and students at the St. Johnsbury Academy honored Melissa by handing out pink ribbons to be worn in memory of her as well as to show support to her family and friends. In addition, individuals wore the color pink to show their support. A memorial service was held the Friday after her body was discovered in 2012 at the St. Johnsbury Academy in which 1,400 people attended to mourn the loss of Melissa Jenkins. Students and teachers described Melissa as a caring, kind hearted teacher who was always helping others. Money has also been raised and donated by locals in order to provide and help take care of her son (Patricia Prue Sentenced to Life).

Sources[]

  • "Woman Admits to Vermont School Teacher's Choking Death." ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
  • Rathke, Lisa. Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
  • "Patricia Prue Sentenced to Life in Melissa Jenkins' Murder." - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
  • Newcomb, Alyssa, and Linsey Davis. "Melissa Jenkins Son, 2, Tried To Demonstrate Mom Was Strangled." ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
  • "Couple Charged with Second-degree Murder in Death of Vermont Teacher Melissa Jenkins." Fox News. FOX News Network, 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

References[]

  1. Template:Cite news
  2. Template:Cite news
  3. Template:Cite news
Advertisement