The New Hampshire Union Leader

June 2, 2004

NH, Vt. bound by disappearances

By Wilson Ring

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Investigators in Vermont are planning to meet with their counterparts in New Hampshire to compare notes after the third woman went missing in the region since February, a sheriff said.

The Lamoille County Sheriff's Department is working with the Vermont State Police in their search for Jodie Whitney, said Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux.

The only common thread between the cases is the vehicles, said Marcoux.

"We've got three women missing and in each case there has been an abandoned vehicle found," Marcoux said yesterday.

The latest case began last Thursday when the husband of 35-year-old Jodie Whitney of Johnson reported his wife missing. Marcoux said Whitney never arrived at her job on Thursday morning at the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe.

"This individual is a very reliable person. She doesn't miss work. She's never late. She has a supervisory position. She has a 3-year-old daughter at home," Marcoux said. "This is very out of character for her."

Whitney's car was found abandoned the next day. Marcoux wouldn't reveal where the car was found other than to say it was within five miles of her home.

Whitney is described as being 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighing 110-pounds. She has shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes.

Marcoux said he called the Vermont State Police and investigators started working on the case immediately.

"This is a joint investigation with the state police and if there are a lot of similarities, we are going to know it," Marcoux said. "We are pouring resources into it right from the get go."

The Whitney disappearance comes in the aftermath of the February disappearance of Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student who had a minor, single-vehicle traffic accident in Haverhill, N.H. On March 19, Brianna Maitland of Sheldon disappeared after leaving her job in Montgomery.

Haverhill is roughly 100 miles from Montgomery and Johnson is between the two, about 26 miles from Montgomery.

"I haven't seen any cases like this in Vermont," Marcoux said.

Marcoux says Vermont investigators will meet with New Hampshire detectives to see if any additional links can be found.

"The state police are in the process of contacting them. There is a meeting being scheduled with investigators from the three cases just to make sure we're not missing anything," he said.

Marcoux said it appeared to be coincidence that Whitney's mother Cheryl Peters was shot to death in Morrisville in 1994. No one has ever been charged in that case.