In Castleton, Vermont, a retired university dean was tragically killed on a local hiking trail, sparking a manhunt for the perpetrator. Honoree Fleming, a former dean of education at Vermont State University’s Castleton Campus, was discovered with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
Fleming, 77, was a respected figure in the academic community, having served not only at Vermont State University but also at Trinity College, Middlebury College, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She was also the wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers. Her death has sent shockwaves through the community, with the university expressing its deep condolences and urging students to remain vigilant.
According to Vermont State Police, Fleming is believed to have entered the trail near the university campus around 4 p.m. on a recent Thursday. She was found dead less than an hour later. A medical examiner confirmed that she died from a gunshot wound. As of the weekend, no arrests had been made, and the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.
The police are seeking a person of interest described as a male with short red hair, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a dark gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack. Local businesses and residents have been asked to review their surveillance footage for any potential leads.
In response to the tragedy, the university’s Castleton Campus remained open on Monday to provide a supportive environment for those affected. However, students were excused from class. Regular class schedules resumed on Tuesday.
The university expressed its deep sorrow over the loss of Fleming, who had touched many lives during her tenure. “Scores of students benefited from Dr. Fleming’s teachings and research,” 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. Honoree will be deeply missed.”