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Update No. 2: VSP concludes search operations in Winooski River connected to Donald Messier missing-persons case

 

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

VERMONT STATE POLICE

 

Vermont State Police concludes search operations in Winooski River connected to Donald Messier missing-persons case

 

WATERBURY, Vermont (Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022) — The Vermont State Police has concluded operations in and around the Winooski River in Waterbury as part of this week’s search related to the 2006 disappearance of Donald Messier of Waterbury.

 

Searchers confirmed that a vehicle located this week by the independent group Adventures With Purpose was Messier’s truck, based on the vehicle description and attached license plates. An examination of the vehicle located personal effects, but investigators have uncovered no obvious human remains at this point in the search.

 

Crews including the Vermont State Police Scuba Team and Crime Scene Search Team were on scene for 12 hours Thursday, ending operations at about 9 p.m. Adventures With Purpose also was present at the scene throughout the day and provided dredging equipment VSP divers utilized. Elite Towing removed the truck from the Winooski River, and E&S Transport ultimately transported the vehicle from the scene. Also present and providing assistance were the Waterbury Fire Department and Duxbury Town Highway Department.

 

CSST members will continue to process the truck on Friday and look for any additional evidence that might be useful in the search for Messier.

 

During the recovery effort Thursday night, a tow-truck operator with E&S Transport was struck by a piece of equipment and suffered a head injury while loading Messier’s truck onto a flatbed wrecker. The operator received immediate care from troopers on the scene, and was subsequently transported by ambulance for treatment at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. The extent of his injuries is currently unknown.

 

The state police will share additional information about this case as it becomes available.

 

 

***Update No. 1, 5:10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022***

The Vermont State Police has concluded search operations Wednesday afternoon following reports of the discovery of evidence in the Donald Messier missing-persons case.

 

Troopers will hold the scene along River Road near the Winooski River in Waterbury overnight. Search operations are tentatively planned to resume at about 9 a.m. Thursday and involve divers from the Vermont State Police Scuba Team, with assistance provided by Adventures With Purpose. Following those efforts, police and a tow service will attempt to remove the truck from the water. VSP’s Crime Scene Search Team will be on scene.

 

VSP will continue to provide updates on this investigation as it proceeds.

 

 

***Initial news release, 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022***

Members of the Vermont State Police are on scene near the Winooski River in Duxbury following a report that evidence connected to the 2006 disappearance of Donald Messier.

 

An outside group, Adventures With Purpose, working independently from the Vermont State Police notified investigators on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, that their divers had located a truck in the Winooski River in Waterbury that they believe had belonged to Messier.

 

Members of the Vermont State Police — including detectives with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, troopers assigned to the Scuba Team, and the Victim Services Unit — have responded to the scene to investigate the reported discovery. The scene is active, and the investigation into this new evidence is in its earliest stages.

 

Messier, 34, of Waterbury was reported missing by family members on Oct. 18, 2006, three days after he was last seen at a party in Waitsfield.

 

Anyone with information that may assist investigators in this case is asked to call the state police barracks in Berlin at 802-229-9191 or leave an anonymous tip online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

 

No further details are currently available. The state police will provide updates as the investigation continues.

 

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