Police: Elderly woman's death a homicide

ARLINGTON — Police say the death of an elderly woman, whose body was found in her home this week, was a homicide, and that they found evidence of a break-in.

Investigators found evidence of forced entry into the Buck Hill Road home where Helen Jones' body was found late Wednesday night, according to Vermont State Police. Preliminary autopsy results indicate the cause of death was stab wounds of the torso and confirmed that the manner of death was indeed a homicide.

Crime scene investigators worked Thursday night and throughout Friday to process the scene and gather evidence. Detectives continue to conduct interviews and follow up on leads as they develop, according to Major Glenn Hall, criminal division commander.

"Detectives are aware of several other burglaries that have occurred in the area within the past week; and are exploring the possibility of any connection to this crime," Hall said in a statement Friday night.

Evidence collected at the scene will be taken to the Vermont Forensic Laboratory for examination and analysis.

A friend discovered Jones, 81, dead in her home late Wednesday night. Neighbors said Jones, who lived alone at the Buck Hill Road home alone, was a kind woman. They said they were stunned about the event in their small neighborhood.

The state police Major Crime Unit is working with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Crime Scene Search Team. Investigators are working closely with the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office. The autopsy was carried out Friday by the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington.

"We encourage all residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police," Hall stated. "In addition to reporting suspicious activity, residents should report any break-ins or vandalism to their property. Detectives will continue to investigate throughout the weekend and updated information will be released when it becomes available."

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Major Crime Unit Detectives at the Shaftsbury barracks at 802-442-5421, or submit an anonymous tip at www.vtips.info.

Reach Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.


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