A Vermont National Guard helicopter has been swooping over the farms and woodlands of the state’s northern region, following the alleged abduction of a 78 year-old woman from Sheffield last Friday.
According to the AP, Pat O’Hagan, a widow who moved to the small Vermont town from Chelmsford, Mass. in 1995, was due for a rug-hooking meeting this past Saturday, but uncharacteristically wasn’t at home when her friends came to pick her up. Both State Police investigators and FBI agents are now on the scene. WPTZ reports that the search for O’Hagan’s whereabouts has since been expanded to other towns. Police suspicions about her disappearance stemmed from the fact that O’Hagan was “known to walk a lot and…an active member in her community,” according to a press release (she would even go camping by herself, in a tent, no less!).
Though we like to say Vermont is as close to being in the mythically safe and happy Canada one can get before leaving America, Sheffield residents have been hastily locking doors and cars. For a town with a population of 727, and no stores or traffic lights, this sort of occurrence is “beyond rare.”
A reward of $5,000 has been offered by the Vermont State Police, to anyone who can help solve O’Hagan’s disappearance. Anyone with information has been asked to call the St. Johnsbury Barracks at 802-748-3111.