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Homicide leaves neighbors in fear

HIGHGATE, Vt. - The town of Highgate has local neighbors living in fear after Saturday's gruesome discovery of human remains.

Neighbors describe their feelings these last few days as shocked and scared. Local resident, Jessica Duprey, said she was shaken.

"I've definitely been feeling a bit more paranoid lately, its something that kind of like shakes you to your core almost, especially when it's so close to home," she said.

Some families haven't left their homes in days due to fear. One neighbor said that her two young kids are not allowed to go outside for the next couple of days.

Duprey said this tragedy is preventing kids from being kids.

"My younger brother is six or seven-years-old, he's seven-years-old and he loves going for walks and loves going on his bike and that's something that's definitely going to affect him is that he's not going to be allowed to go too far away where we cant see him," she said.

The police presence has been overwhelming for many neighbors who say its very uncommon for the area.

"Too much action, you don't think you would see this kind of nonsense so close to home," said neighbor, Joshua Stukes.

Another neighbor, Debbie Spears said she knew Erika Guttilla since the age of two.

She said the events that have unfolded are "very, very upsetting."

"Don't do drugs. I think this could have all been prevented years ago if she got the help she needed, I don't think she would have went to the extremes that she did," Spears said.

Although the town is shaken up, Duprey said she doesn't want this event to define who they are.

"I don't think this should be the staple for Highgate because its a great place to live and I do still feel safe," she said.

Residents are trying to let the neighborhood be the neighborhood after both suspects were arrested Tuesday morning.


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