CASTLETON, Vt. – Vermont State Police have identified the woman killed on the D&H Rail Trail Thursday afternoon, as Honoree Fleming, 77. An autopsy shows she died by a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of her death is a homicide.
Vermont State University confirms Fleming was the Dean of Education at the former Castleton University. In a statement by VTSU, Fleming was noted to be an impressive researcher who faculty, students, and staff all loved.
“Our hearts go out to the members of our community who taught with Honoree and had her as a beloved teacher during their time at Castleton. Our deepest sympathies go to her husband, Ron, family and friends,” Interim President Mike Smith writes.
She was married to Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize winning and New York Times bestselling author. The couple both lived in Castleton.
VTSU-Castleton’s campus was closed Friday. Students are currently on fall break, and the school has decided to delay a return to campus until Sunday, October 8.
Fleming’s body was found near a home on South Street shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Vermont State Police say a witness told investigators they heard gunshots, then saw a man walking towards the Castleton campus.
Vermont State Police say the suspect is armed and dangerous. He is described as white, about 5’10” with short, dark colored hair.
He was last seen wearing a dark gray shirt with a black backpack.
Just before midnight Friday, police closed the trail and South Street as troopers were going house-to-house in the area. They urged residents to lock their doors and report anything suspicious.
Fair Haven Union Middle School, High School, and all Slate Valley schools also cancelled all activities for athletes, both home and away, for Friday.
Police are asking residents and businesses to review any surveillance video shot between early afternoon and early evening Thursday for images of the suspect and other potential evidence.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Rutland at 802-773-9101. Tips also may be submitted anonymously online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.