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Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006

Search end for missing woman from Townshend woman

Helen Holmes, 59, found dead in woods in Winhall

BRATTLEBORO—The body of a 59-year-old Townshend woman missing since Sept. 6 has been found.

Vermont State Police said a hiker found the remains of Helen Holmes in Winhall on Oct. 9, and her identity was confirmed after an autopsy by the office of the chief medical examiner the following day.

According to state police, based on the evidence collected and previous investigative information, detectives do not suspect foul play.

The case is still under investigation pending the official cause and manner of death as determined by the final autopsy report, which police said may not be available for some time.

State police said a hiker called Winhall police on the afternoon of Oct. 9. The hiker reported finding human remains off Vermont Route 11.

At the scene, Winhall police found partial human remains about 75 feet into the woods from a car matching the description and registration number of Holmes’ red 2010 Subaru Forester.

State police said a handgun was found with the body.

Winhall police contacted the VSP which dispatched detectives with the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation to the scene. The partial remains were taken to the office of the chief medical examiner for official identification and autopsy.

Members of Holmes’ family posted on Facebook they had received news that Holmes’ body had been found. The posts expressed sadness and also requested that the family be allowed privacy.

Holmes went missing the morning of Sept. 6 from the home she shared with her husband, Steven St. Peter, on Plumb Road in Townshend. According to information from her Facebook page, Holmes grew up in Holden, Mass., and worked as a registered nurse at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend.

State police detectives monitored Holmes’ cell phone, social media, and financial activity as part of their investigation in an effort to locate her.

State police and the Vermont Civil Air Patrol also conducted an air search of the Townshend and Jamaica areas on Sept. 14.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #225 (Wednesday, October 16, 2013). This story appeared on page A1.

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