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Update No. 5: Vermont State Police arrests third suspect connected to 2022 Danby homicide

 

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

VERMONT STATE POLICE

 

Vermont State Police arrests third suspect connected to 2022 Danby homicide

 

DANBY, Vermont (Monday, Feb. 5, 2024) — The Vermont State Police on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, arrested a third suspect on charges arising from the Feb. 2, 2022, homicide of 17-year-old Isiah Rodriguez in Danby.

 

Elijah Johnson, 22, of Manchester was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant on a charge of being an accessory after the fact. Prosecutors also have filed additional charges of conspiracy to commit murder and aiding in the commission of a felony. Police arrested Johnson in Burlington following his release from federal custody on unrelated charges. He was transported to the Rutland Barracks for processing and then subsequently jailed at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility for lack of $15,000 bail.

 

Johnson is expected to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Bennington.

 

No further details are available at this time. The affidavit of probable cause is filed with the court. Members of the media should call the Court Clerk’s Office to confirm details of the arraignment hearing.

 

 

***Update No. 4, 9:25 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024***

The Vermont State Police has arrested two suspects on charges related to the homicide of 17-year-old Isiah Rodriguez in Danby nearly two years ago. Additional arrests are expected as this investigation continues.

 

On Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, members of the state police arrested 32-year-old Ashley Wicks and 28-year-old Shawn Bulson, both of Bennington, on charges of being accessories after the fact to the fatal shooting. Wicks also was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Both suspects are expected to be arraigned Tuesday morning, Jan. 30, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Bennington. A hearing also is expected on whether probable cause exists to charge Wicks with the conspiracy count.

 

Through a complex, lengthy investigation that began after Rodriguez’s body was found early Feb. 3, 2022, on Danby Mountain Road, state police detectives determined the homicide arose from a dispute among a group of people regarding drug trafficking and stolen firearms.

 

No additional information is available at this time. The affidavit of probable cause is filed with the court in Bennington. Members of the media should call the Court Clerk’s Office to confirm details of the hearing.

 

 

***Update No. 3, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, 2022***

Following an autopsy Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, the victim found deceased Thursday morning in Danby is identified as Isaiah Rodriguez, 17, of Springfield, Massachusetts.

 

The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be gunshot wounds of the torso, and the manner of death is a homicide. State police detectives have narrowed down the time this incident is believed to have occurred to 10:30-11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, and would like to speak with anyone who was traveling on Danby Mountain Road or who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary during that time.

 

Anyone who wishes to speak to investigators should call VSP’s Rutland Barracks at 802-773-9101, or submit an anonymous tip online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

 

VSP’s investigation into this case remains active and ongoing. Police will provide further updates as new information becomes available.

 

 

***Update No. 2, 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022***

The investigation is continuing this afternoon into the death of a man whose body was found Thursday morning on Danby Mountain Road.

 

Preliminary investigation indicates the victim appears to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was wearing a dark colored, puffy coat with red piping at the bottom, dark colored pants, and slides for footwear. His identity remains under investigation.

 

Investigators would like to speak with anyone who observed anything suspicious or out of the ordinary along Danby Mountain Road between early Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, to 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 3. People with information should call the Rutland state police barracks at 802-773-9101, or submit an anonymous tip online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

 

Police will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

 

 

***Update No. 1, 4:05 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022***

Maj. Dan Trudeau, commander of the Vermont State Police Criminal Division, will be available to speak with members of the media at 4:30 p.m. today at the Manchester Police Department, 6041 Main St. in Manchester Center.

 

 

***Initial news release, 12:05 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022***

Members of the Vermont State Police are investigating a suspicious death reported Thursday morning, Feb. 3, 2022, in Danby.

 

Police were notified at about 8:45 a.m. that an adult man was found deceased on the side of Danby Mountain Road in the area between Scallop Drive and Currier Road. First responders located the victim deceased at the scene.

 

The Vermont State Police investigation is in its preliminary stages and includes members of the Major Crime Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Search Team, Victim Services Unit and Field Force Division. The Bennington County Sheriff’s Department also responded. Additionally, investigators are working with the Medical Examiner’s Office at the scene.

 

Police are working to determine the identity of the victim. The body will be brought to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

 

Anyone with information that could aid investigators is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Rutland at 802-773-9101. Tips also may be submitted online anonymously at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

 

VSP will provide updates as the investigation continues.

 

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