Investigation into Brooke Bennett's disappearance shifts to Randolph
RANDOLPH -- Vermont State Police confirmed this afternoon that the search for missing 12-year-old Brooke Bennett has shifted to the Randolph home of the girl's uncle.
Police issued a release moments ago stating: "As a result of this past weekend’s investigation into the disappearance of 12 year-old Brooke Bennett of Braintree, Vermont, the Vermont State Police and the FBI have concentrated their investigation efforts around the Jacques’ property in Randolph, Vermont. The Connecticut State Police and the Massachusetts State Police are assisting in the property search by providing a helicopter as well as additional K-9 units. The Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team have been called in as well. The search will cover an extensive area. In addition, the FBI has flown in additional resources. Anyone with information pertaining to Brooke Bennett is urged to call the Vermont State Police at (802) 234-9933."
The Rutland Herald is on the scene at the home of 42-year-old Michael Jacques on East Bethel Road in Randolph. At this time, police are not allowing anyone to enter the property. A police officer is stationed at the bottom of the driveway, and highway cones also block access to the home, which sits about 100 yards off the roadway.
There are at least five Vermont State Police cars at the home, with officers wearing sweatshirts marked search and rescue, as well as baseball caps. One officer was also seen with a dog.
The State Police Crime Lab van is also at the scene, although officers have not entered the home.
Bennett was last seen when her uncle dropped her at a convenience store in Randolph on Wednesday morning. Police have not named Jacques a suspect in Bennett's disappearance. They did arrest him Sunday and charge him in an unrelated sexual assault case. In addition, police said Jacques was convicted in 1993 of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.
He is expected to be arraigned in court on the latest sexual assault charge within the hour.
The Rutland Herald will update this story with further details as they happen.