On January 3, 1981, in Burlington, Vermont, a lifeless, snow-covered body was discovered in the driveway of 62 Brookes Avenue. It was 35-year-old Angela Belisle, shot to death and left in sub zero temperatures and frozen to the ground.
Forty years later, her killer has not yet been found.
Belisle was spotted by a University of Vermont student who happened to be walking by her home. At first glance, the student thought it was a mannequin, but at second glance, saw it was human remains and called the police.
Since her death appeared to be a homicide, Mark Keller — the Chittenden County State’s Attorney at the time — headed to the scene.
“It was very done in the wintertime and it was very cold and there was no exchange of DNA between the assailant and person because there is no contact between them,” said Keller. “If the gun have been found the bullet could have been tied to the gun. We had no scientific evidence to support it.”
Williston Chief of Police, Patrick Foley, was a detective for the Burlington Police Department at the time of the crime and said he remembers the scene as if it was yesterday. “There are certain things you always remember. I can see where that body was every time I talk about it. I can close my eyes and tell you how she was laid out on the ground,” said Foley.
At first, detectives believed Angela Belisle had slipped and fell hitting her head, but Foley said he knew this was a homicide. “It appeared as if she stepped out of her vehicle that she might’ve lost her balance and fell and banged her head and pretty much froze to death, said Foley. “We cleaned off the body and we noticed that initially it looked like a freckle or like a mole, but we saw the blood and we knew it was not a fall based on the evidence seen.”
Since this case is still open and being actively investigated Foley could not release the details of the evidence found at the scene. However, based on evidence that was located near her body, Chief Foley said this crime was extremely personal.
“And that person who did this crime knows what I am talking about when I say it’s personal,” said Foley.
Angela was recently divorced and a mother of three children. Foley said detectives interviewed a lot of people, including her ex-husband. Foley said, “He was not my first interview and you know you are trained to look at peoples eyes and look at their mannerism. You look at peoples eyes and see there is something that’s not being truthful and you just couldn’t and didn’t have that thing that you need to say ‘hey I know you did it’,” said Foley.
Another person questioned by police committed suicide shortly after being interviewed by police.
Not only was Angela a mom, but she was also a school teacher in St. Albans. While she taught children at St. Albans Elementary, she pursued her Masters in Psychology at the University of Vermont.
On the night of the crime Angela had met with her ex-husband in a UVM parking lot to drop-off their children, as they were spending the night with their father. She then headed to the grocery store, pulled into her driveway and that’s where her life ended.
“We felt the assailant was known to the person or she was targeted. It did not appear to be a random act because of the footprints it appeared that this person basically was align in wait for her to come home waiting by the garage and as the car came in. The lights go out and this person moved to position and she was shot. Nothing was taken from her… It was directly towards her,” said Keller.
If you have any information regarding this case, contact the Burlington Police Department or the Vermont State Police.
“Somebody who is watching this and has knowledge of it… it’s time to bring closure and give peace to the family of Angela and the children,” said Foley.