Category Archives: death investigation

Lebanon Police Investigating Possible Overdose Death

lebanon  police patchOn Monday, December 12, 2016 at approximately 7:00AM, the Lebanon Police Department received an emergency call in regard to a possible overdose. Lebanon Police and Fire units responded to an address on Bank Street for a 32-year-old female who was found deceased. The Lebanon Police Detective Bureau is continuing to investigate this incident.

VSP Investigating Untimely Death at Killington

VT State Police PatchThe Vermont State Police and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are investigating the untimely death of William P. Cusano, age sixty-five. Cusano was found collapsed on an intermediate ski trail at the Killington Ski Resort on December 10, 2016, at 2:32 PM. Cusano was transported the Rutland Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead at 3:44 PM. There was no indication that Cusano had been involved in a crash while skiing and his death appears to have been a natural event. Cusano was noted to be an
experienced skier. Cusano will be examined at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington, Vermont, to determine the cause and manner of death. No further information is being released at this time.

Man Identified in Unattended Death – Police Seek Help Locating Family

lebanon  police patchOn Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at approximately 8:00AM, Lebanon Police and Fire Units responded to Bridge Street on the river embankment on the Lebanon side, for a report of a male subject who was unresponsive and determined to be deceased. Lebanon Police Patrol and Detective Units have spent several days investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident. Information gleaned during this investigation has shifted the focus of this investigation to an apparent suicide, as a result of jumping from the Route 4 Bridge, pending results of an autopsy completed on 11/25/16.
The male victim has been positively identified as Robert William Cook, age 47, of White River Junction, VT and previously of Phoenix, Arizona. Attempts to locate family of Mr. Cook have been unsuccessful. Anyone with information on immediate family is asked to contact the Lebanon Police Department.

AG’s Office Investigates Claremont Officer Shooting

claremont policeNew Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Safety and Acting Colonel of the State Police Robert Quinn announce that an investigation is ongoing into an officer-involved shooting incident that occurred in Claremont, New Hampshire.

The incident occurred at approximately 4:50 a.m. this morning in Claremont following a call for service to a residence. An adult male at the residence was fatally wounded during a confrontation with police. No police officers were physically injured during the incident.

The deceased individual has been identified as Cody Lafont, 25, of Claremont. An autopsy will be performed on Monday, September 26, to determine his exact cause and manner of death.

The circumstances that led to the shooting are being investigated. No further updates are expected today.

Local Man Found Deceased Under Car in Moody Park

claremont policeClaremont Police, Claremont Fire and Golden Cross Ambulance responded to a report that someone was trapped under a car in Moody Park off of Maple Ave.  It was reported the vehicle was off the normal travel portion of the roadway going up into Moody Park.  Upon arrival officers located the car and the person.   Claremont Fire worked to lift the car off of the person and remove him from under the car.   He was removed but was unresponsive and had passed away prior to the vehicle being removed.


The victim has been identified and his immediate family has been notified.   Claremont Police is not releasing the name of the person at this time to allow the family time to make notifications to the extended family.  The name of the victim will be released in an updated press release on August 22, 2016.  The victim is a 37 year old male from the Claremont/Charlestown area.


It appears that the victim was working on his car at this location and while working under the car the equipment that he was using became loose and the vehicle fell on him.   The incident remains under investigation by the Claremont Police Department.

Death Investigation in Bellows Falls

bellowsfalls_signOn Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Vermont State Police assisted Bellows Police Department after a body was discovered adjacent to the train tracks under the Arch Bridge in Bellow Falls, Vermont. The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification to the next of kin.  Foul play is not suspected, however the case remains under investigation. If you have information pertaining to this incident please contact Detective Trooper Matthew Sweitzer at 802-234-9933.


Investigation into Death of Inmate at SCCF

sullivan county house of correctionsUnity, NH: The Sullivan County Sheriff s Office and the NH State Police are investigating the manner and cause of the death of a protective custody inmate at the Sullivan County Department of Corrections. Edward Hawkins, 50, of Claremont, NH, was taken into protective custody by the Claremont Police Department and taken to the Department of Corrections at approximately 3:00 AM on Friday, June 10, 2016. Following DOC policy, Hawkins was placed  into a single observation cell, where he was subject to regular observation by corrections staff over the next hour.

During observation, a DOC supervisor found Hawkins to be unconscious and unresponsive. DOC staff initiated CPR and called for an ambulance. Correctional officers continued CPR until EMS from Golden Cross Ambulance and Unity Fire Department arrived. Efforts by DOC staff and emergency responders failed to revive Hawkins, and he was pronounced dead by the medical examiner approximately one hour later.

Agencies that responded to the Department of Corrections include the Sullivan County Sheriff s Office, NH State Police, and the Sullivan County Attorney. The NH Attorney General’s Office has also been notified. No further information will be available until the results of the autopsy and toxicology testing are known.

Dartmouth Grad Student’s Death Still Under Investigation

Scott SmedinghoffThe Dartmouth reports it was a Dartmouth Grad student who was found deceased by Lebanon Police last Friday. Lebanon Police found Scott Smedinghoff deceased while doing a wellness check.

Smedinhoff 28 earned his bachelor degree in mathematics and physics from Williams College and was a fourth year doctoral student in Dartmouth’s mathematic department.

Smedinhoff was involved in music through the Hopkins Center, most notably as a pianist for the Dartmouth Wind Ensemble. He was also choir director at the First Congregational Church in Thetford, Vermont. Smedinhoff’s death is still under investigation.

Three Arrested Face Federal Charges for Northfield Fire

flamesThree Montpelier residents were arrested for Sunday’s fatal fire in Northfield VT.  Police say Tammy Wilder 45,and Jonathan Zampieri 33, were arrested on Tuesday evening, following a motor vehicle stop in Berlin. A third person Howard Hoisington 32 was arrested just after midnight on Wednesday.

All three subjects are lodged at the Chittenden County Correctional Center and are facing federal charges related to the fatal fire investigation.  This remains an active investigation, anyone with any information is asked to contact the Vermont State Police.  No other information is available at this time, any questions regarding criminal charges should be directed to the U.S Attorney’s Office.


AG Gives Cause of Death for 11-Month Old

alexandria nhNew Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and State Police Colonel Robert L. Quinn announce the results of the autopsy conducted on Shawn Sylvester (age 11 months), who died on Sunday after receiving injuries in Alexandria, New Hampshire.
Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie V. Duval has determined that the cause of the child’s death was blunt impact head trauma. The manner of his death was homicide.
The investigation into Shawn Sylvester’s death is ongoing.