OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:17 AM – Tuesday, October 10, 2023
The former dean of the Castleton campus of Vermont University was found gunned down near campus last week and police are still searching for the killer.
Honoree Fleming, 77, was fatally shot on the Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail near the Vermont University campus on Thursday. She was found with a gunshot wound to the head, according to officials.
Students returned to campus on Tuesday after classes had been excused due to the murder that occurred last Thursday. Attendees of the university remain on edge as Vermont State police continue their search.
According to police, one unnamed “armed and dangerous” man has been described as a person of interest and authorities requested that those in the community, or those living near the trail, review their security cameras in case they may have captured footage of the suspect.
“The suspect is considered armed and dangerous,” Vermont State Police said. “The public is urged to remain vigilant and alert for suspicious person(s) and activities and to report anything suspicious to the Vermont State Police at 802-773-9101. Tips also may be submitted anonymously online.”
A witness also reported a potential suspect that was on the northbound side of the trail walking in the direction of the campus following the gunshots. According to the witness, they saw a 5-foot-10-inch White male with short, red hair who was last seen wearing a “dark gray T-shirt and holding a black backpack.”
“I recommend to the public to be vigilant, have some awareness,” Major Dan Trudeau, commander of the Vermont State Police’s criminal division, announced on Monday. “If you’re out, be with a friend because we don’t really know yet if the community is in any further danger. We don’t know if this is isolated or not and we’re still trying to develop leads to further figure that out.”
The former dean was believed to have entered the trail near campus at approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday and was pronounced dead less than an hour later, according to police.
During a news conference on Monday, Vermont State Police’s Dan Trudeau announced that the department has already received more than 200 tips regarding Fleming’s murder.
“Every tip is better than no tip,” Trudeau said. “This type of case is probably a blend of old-fashioned detective work, along with new age technology-based detective work. We don’t really know yet if the community is in any further danger.”
As of Monday, no suspect has been detained yet.
Police also explained that they do not have a motive for the murder and mentioned that it remains unknown whether it was random or targeted.
“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,” the Vermont University campus said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Fleming was a retired dean of education at the Vermont University campus. She was also married to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers.
“Scores of students benefited from Dr. Fleming’s teachings and research. Before she joined Castleton, she was also a faculty member at Trinity College, Middlebury College, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Honoree lived in Castleton with her husband, Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author,” the school said.
“Our deepest sympathies go to her husband, Ron, family, and friends. This is an unbelievable tragedy for the Castleton campus and for all of Vermont State University,” the school added. “Honoree will be deeply missed.”
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