Statement from Col. Baker of the VSP on discovery of bodyJuly 02,2008
Statement by Col. James Baker, director of the Vermont State Police, on finding the body of Brooke Bennett:
It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I announce that we have located what we believe to be the remains of Brooke Bennett on Crocker Road in Randolph, Vermont.
The identification of Brooke today is a preliminary one. Brooke will be transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington where an autopsy will be scheduled to positively identify her and to determine the cause of death. The death is clearly suspicious. It appears to be foul play.
Brooke was located as a result of information developed during the search of Michael Jacques’ residence. The information developed led investigators to Crocker Road. A team of specially trained FBI agents and Vermont State Police Search and Rescue members, discovered ground that was recently disturbed. This discovery happened on July 1st, 2008. The scene was frozen and a thorough search was conducted today. Brooke was found at 4:45 this afternoon.
A week ago today, Brooke was reported missing. We remained optimistic that we would find her alive. Investigators worked swiftly and diligently to uncover information and evidence that was leading us in the direction of locating Brooke.
The painful discovery of Brooke’s body today is tragic and heartbreaking.
Brooke’s family has been notified. On behalf of all of the investigators, support staff and others who have worked tirelessly on this case, I offer the family our deepest condolences.
Myself, Special Agent in Charge John Pikus and Major Tom L’Esperance will be meeting with the family shortly to assure them that the investigative team that we have assembled is focused more then ever. As I’ve stated before, this investigation is making progress.
With the discovery of Brooke, our investigation is now narrowed and focused.
All of the investigators and the support staff in this investigation are committed to closing this investigation out successfully.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Brooke, her family and friends. I ask you respect the privacy of Brooke’s family at this time.
I recognize the information provided at this time is vague, however we felt it was important to inform you of this drastic change in the investigation.
With that said, I am not prepared, nor can I answer questions at this time as we are at yet another crucial stage in the investigation.
A press conference will be scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00 AM at the US Attorney’s Office in Burlington. The media should arrive at 9:30 AM.
Thank you for your attention.
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