American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda is investigating a disturbing murder from the quiet town of St. Johnsbury in Vermont. Schoolteacher, Melissa Jenkins, was murdered by husband and wife duo Allen and Patricia Prue in March 2012.
The Prue couple intentionally lured the 33-year-old teacher out of her home and killed her in front of her young son. They then disposed of Melissa’s remains in a manner that shocked this small community.
Allen Prue, a snowplow driver, had occasionally plowed Jenkins’s drive, but she had reportedly had grown wary and uncomfortable around him, so she had asked him to stop. Before the murder, he had shown up at her house drunk, asking if he could plow her drive again.
In March 2012, the Prue couple had been driving around when according to the police, Allen suggested they “get a girl.” The murderous couple managed to lure Jenkins out of her home by pretending to have car trouble. Patricia Prue called Jenkins to say her car had broken down.
Jenkins jumped into her SUV with her two-year-old son and went to meet Patricia, but when she got out of her car, she was attacked by Allen, who strangled her and threw her into the back of their car. They left the SUV with its engine running, and Jenkins’s son was left unharmed in the back. The toddler would later try to explain to the cops what had happened to his mom.
Allen and Patricia Prue disposed of Melissa Jenkins’s body
The Prue’s drove to their home with Jenkin’s remains; at some point, Patricia strangled her again, just to make sure she was dead. They laid out Jenkins on a tarp at their home, poured bleach on her, and then weighed her body down with concrete. The vicious duo then threw the single mother into the Connecticut River.
The police were able to track down the couple after tracing the cellphone call to Jenkins back to Patricia Prue.
A clear motive for the killing has not been satisfactorily established, but at Allen Prue’s trial, the prosecuting attorneys argued that the vicious couple had become obsessed with Melissa Jenkins and were sexually attracted to the young mother. The attorney suggested that the couple felt they had been snubbed by Jenkins.
Allen Prue was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison, whereas his wife, Patricia, received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
More cases from Lt. Joe Kenda
Follow the links to read about more murder cases examined by veteran cop Joe Kenda.
Construction worker James Semon was stabbed to death by fellow coworker Rufus Medina in Colorado Springs. Joe Kenda and his colleagues were then hit by a wall of silence from the community.
Grandmother Kathryn Simpson was 86-years-old when neighbor James Ducoin stabbed her. The killer fled town and managed to evade capture for 12 years until he was finally arrested.
American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.