Vermont police identify remains found in 2019 as Ballston Spa woman, homicide victim

Bennington County
Jessica Hildenbrandt, 43, of Ballston Spa, New York

Jessica Hildenbrandt, 43, of Ballston Spa, New York. (Vermont State Police)

SEARSBURG, Vt. (NEWS10/WFFF) — Human remains found in Vermont last September have been identified as Jessica Hildenbrandt of Ballston Spa, who was 43 when she went missing in 2019.

Hildenbrandt’s remains were discovered at around 10:30 a.m. on September 17, 2019 in Searsburg, Vermont. A man called the police to report finding a human jawbone in a gravel pit on Somerset Road.

Law enforcement collected the jawbone and sent it to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. State police began a search in the area of the gravel pit, along with an investigation into the identity of the remains and the circumstances of the death.

They found additional remains at the site, and DNA analysis helped police positively identify the victim as Hildenbrandt. According to police, Ms. Hildenbrandt, also known as “Red,” spent a lot of time in Vermont, particularly in Bennington. She was last in contact with family in July 2019.

The Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Ms. Hildenbrandt’s death a homicide. Although police are continuing to investigate, they say they do not believe there is a threat to public safety.

If you or someone you know has information about Hildebrandt’s death, contact investigators via phone or email. Police are especially interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen or were in contact with her in the summer of 2019.

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