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Searsburg Remains Identified; Authorities Investigating as Homicide

01:01PM / Monday, September 21, 2020
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State Police are seeking information about Jessica Hildenbrandt's whereabouts last summer.
SEARSBURG, Vt. — The remains discovered last year at gravel pit on Somerset Road have been identified as Jessica Hildenbrandt, 43, of Ballston Spa, N.Y.
 
Authorities said on Monday that her death is being investigated as a homicide.
 
Hildenbrandt, who went by the nickname "Red,"  spent considerable time in Vermont, especially in and around Bennington, state police reported. She was last in touch with her family in July 2019. 
 
Someone came across a jawbone in the gravel pit on Sept. 17, 2019, and reported this to state police at the Shaftsbury barracks. The bone was taken to the chief medical examiner's office in Burlington and a search found more human remains at the site. 
 
Detectives Lt. John-Paul Schmidt and Sgt. Samuel Truex say in their report that DNA analysis and "extensive investigation" led to the positive idenfication of Hildebrandt. 
 
While the death has been ruled a homicide, the cause is currently undetermined.
 
Detectives with the State Police Criminal Division continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death. Police do not believe there is a threat to public safety.
 
Anyone who might have information that could be relevant to the investigation is asked to contact Truex at 802-442-5421 or at samuel.truex@vermont.gov
 
Police would especially like to hear from anyone who thinks they might have seen Hildenbrandt in summer 2019.

Tags: homicide,   murder,   

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