Couple charged with second-degree murder in death of Vermont teacher Melissa Jenkins

A husband and wife have been charged with the murder of Vermont teacher Melissa Jenkins, authorities said Wednesday.          

The Vermont State police said during a news conference that Allen Prue, 30, and his wife, Patricia, 33, were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jenkins, a 33-year-old single mother and beloved prep school teacher who authorities say was strangled.

Vermont State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said the two were also charged with improper disposal of a body and that "additional charges may be forthcoming."

The pair are being held without bail at the Northeast Region Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury and were arraigned Wednesday morning.

Ledo said the couple knew Jenkins and had snow-plowed her driveway a couple of years ago. He did not give a motive for the killing.

More On This...

    The Caledonian-Record reported on its website Wednesday that Allen Prue is a snowplow driver who also worked for the newspaper as a deliveryman.

    "Allen Prue completed his delivery route for the Caledonian Record on both Sunday and Monday nights. Route drivers reported, however, that the Prues arrived an hour late on Sunday night," the newspaper said.

    Jenkins' body was discovered Monday in Barnet, a day after her SUV was found abandoned along a dark Vermont road with its engine still running and her 2-year-old son inside, investigators said.

    Vermont State Police Lt. Bob Cushing previously told that police found suspicious evidence at the scene where Jenkins' car was found, suggesting a struggle took place, but he declined to elaborate on what was discovered. Cushing noted that the vehicle was not out of gas.

    Jenkins taught science at the prestigious St. Johnsbury Academy, a school of about 970 students that was established in the 1840s and whose alumni include former President Calvin Coolidge. She also worked part-time as a waitress at The Creamery Restaurant in Danville.

    Eric Berry, 44, of Lyndonville, a cousin by marriage whose daughter is Jenkins' goddaughter, described her as a beautiful, kind person whom he believes was coming to someone's aid when she disappeared.

    "She left her house with the idea, I think, to try to help somebody, and that's as far as I'm going to go with that because I don't want to damage any investigation," he said.'s Cristina Corbin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.