Editor’s note: This story is by freelancer Anna Merriman. It was updated July 13 at 3:20 and 5:45 p.m. Please check back for further updates.
A Barre woman whose body was found along a dirt road in Middlesex on Wednesday was the victim of homicide, according to police.
The woman was Cindy Cook, 59, police said late Thursday afternoon.
Authorities were called to Brook Road around 6 p.m. Wednesday after a resident reported finding the body of an adult woman on an embankment off the east side of the road, Vermont State Police said in a statement Thursday.
The last time anyone heard from Cook was July 3, when she talked to a family member on the phone, according to the statement. Police said the body had been decomposing for days before it was found.
Police could not locate Cook’s car, a 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman station wagon. They said the car is cream-colored and has a black top and black stripes.
Detectives began their investigation Wednesday evening and continued in the area Thursday morning. The woman’s body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for an autopsy early Thursday, police said.
Police at first called the death “suspicious.”
Residents in the area said they had seen multiple police cars driving up and down Brook Road throughout the night Wednesday and early Thursday.
One resident said police went door to door asking whether anyone had seen suspicious activity in the area in the past week. She said that in the past few days she had walked with her dogs in the area where Cook’s body was discovered but didn’t notice anything strange.
Crime scene technicians and state police were in an area in the middle of Brook Road for the morning and early afternoon Thursday. Police also blocked off Brook Road to through traffic as they investigated.
A state police crime scene van left the area around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.