CASTLETON, Vt. (AP) — More than 150 tips have come in since Vermont State Police released a sketch of a person of interest in the killing of a retired college dean who was shot dead a week ago on a recreation trail in the small college town, authorities said Thursday.
The composite sketch was made public Wednesday afternoon and is based on witnesses’ accounts of a man they saw on the trail before they came across the body of Honoree Fleming, 77, police said. Fleming died of a gunshot wound to the head while walking along the trail on the afternoon of Oct. 5, about 1 mile south of the Vermont State University Castleton Campus.
Detectives have been pursuing leads in response to the tips, state police said.
At the university, senior Kiki Valentino said she’s heard some students say the sketch could look like anyone on campus but that the increase in tips is helping to alleviate students’ fears.
“People are … more kind of at ease since there are more tips that they’re going to find him,” Valentino said.
The person of interest is described as a 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) white male in his 20s with short, red hair. He was wearing a dark gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack and is considered armed and dangerous, police said.
Witnesses reported that the man was acting odd, and more than one person observed him, Capt. Scott Dunlap, commander of the Vermont State Police major crime unit, said Wednesday. He also said police did not know if the shooting was random or targeted and advised the public to remain vigilant.