By Calvin Palmer
Police in Vermont now believe an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease who was reported missing in 2006, and never found, was killed by her daughter and the body burned in the backyard.
Jeanne Sevigny, 59, of Westford, Vermont, appeared in court today charged with second-degree murder. She pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. Her son, Greg Sevigny, 30, was arraigned for unlawful disposal of a human body and was released into the custody of his father.
Mary Wilcox, 78, of Westford, was reported missing in November 2006. Sevigny told police her mother had wandered away from the home when she was left unattended. Despite several police searches, Wilcox was never found.
The arrests followed new information provided by Greg Sevigny’s girlfriend when she went to the police to seek a restraining order against him.
The information provided by the girlfriend contradicted Jeanne Sevigny’s account of her mother’s disappearance and detectives re-opened the investigation.
This morning state troopers were searching a wooded area close to Westford Elementary School. Police believe Wilcox’s remains are buried in the woods.
John St Francis, lawyer for Jeanne Sevigny, said it was not a homicide but an accident. Jeanne Sevigny discovered her mother with a handgun and tried to disarm her. In the struggle that followed, the gun went off accidentally.
“Mrs Sevigny is guilty only of making some bad decisions after she accidentally shot her mother,” St Francis said.
Authorities say that Sevigny’s husband was away for several days when Wilcox disappeared and is not a suspect.