Police seek ex-Bennington man after woman's death

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WINOOSKI — Winooski Police are continuing to seek an ex-Bennington man who has been missing since his fiancee, a former Arlington woman, was found dead in Chittenden County over the weekend.

Keith D. Gaston, 32, continues to be a person of interest for investigators, Winooski Police Chief Rick Hebert said Thursday.

Hannah Keyes, 28, a mother of two young girls, was found dead late Saturday night inside the basement apartment at 65 Audet St. where she lived with Gaston and their two daughters, police said.

Her death is considered suspicious, but Vermont's Chief Medical Examiner's Office has indicated it has been unable to determine cause or manner of death following an autopsy, police said.

Hebert said police were unable to see any marks on her body on Saturday night. Toxicology tests results are pending, he said.

It also remained unclear how many days Keyes, a 2010 graduate of Arlington Memorial High School, was dead.

The chief told the Bennington Banner that his officers have applied for more search warrants to be able to go through phones and other electronic gear that had been seized through a warrant officers obtained for the apartment on Sunday.

Gaston's Volvo was founded parked on West Canal Street on Sunday morning. Colchester Technical Rescue members were asked to comb the nearby Winooski River on Thursday looking for Gaston or other evidence, Hebert said.

"We were thinking what would a desperate guy do," Hebert said. Nothing was found.

He said no divers went into the water, but a boat and maybe a drone were going to be used to check along the riverbank.

The chief said police decided while they waited for the preliminary autopsy report, a search along the riverbank would be done on the off chance evidence was located.

Gaston was last known to work at Global Foundries in Essex. Hebert said Global officials finally returned a call Thursday to police.

Winooski Police have said little about Gaston's past.

Vermont State Police reported in October 2014 that Gaston was ordered into criminal court in Rutland County for an aggravated assault charge after he reportedly punched another detained inmate at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility.

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It was unclear how that criminal case was resolved.

The fight was over a card game, State Police Detective Sgt. Doug Norton said at the time.

Gaston, then 27, of Arlington followed Alex Corbosiero, 18, of Springfield, into a cell and punched him in the right eye.

It caused a serious injury and Corbosiero was taken by prison staff to Rutland Regional Medical Center for treatment, Norton said.

Winooski Police said officers were asked by Keyes' employer, The Arbors, a senior living center, to respond for a welfare check about 10:05 p.m. Saturday.

The storm door was closed, but the wood door was ajar. The two daughters, 3 and 4, were found inside, police said.

Hebert had said on Sunday afternoon it was considered an untimely death. He said he was waiting for the autopsy and toxicology before saying more.

Hebert said it was odd that Gaston would not wonder about the status of his two daughters.

They were checked by the Department for Children and Families and later turned over to a family member, Hebert said.

The chief reported Keyes had no known issues with drugs or alcohol, according to an interview with the victim's sister.

Keyes and Gaston were not on the radar screen for Winooski Police. Police have never responded for calls at the apartment, the chief said.

Gaston is described as a black male, 5-feet-10 inches and 170 pounds. While he has grown facial hair in the past, it is unknown if he has some now or may have shaved.

Gaston is from Detroit, where his father still resides. His mother lives in Baltimore, the chief said.

Hebert said the preliminary investigation has shown Gaston has been in the Winooski area for about six months.


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