CASTLETON, Vt. (NEWS10) — The Vermont State Police is investigating a suspicious death in Castleton that happened Thursday. Police are currently searching for a potential suspect after a woman was found dead on the Rail Trail near 1587 South Street.

Police say a witness in the area reported a possible suspect was headed northbound on the rail trail walking toward the Castleton Campus after gunshots were heard. The witness described the suspect as a male, approximately 5’10” with short, dark-colored hair, last seen wearing a dark gray t-shirt and carrying a black backpack.

Vermont State Police say the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Residents in the area are urged to stay alert for suspicious person(s) and activities. Anything out of the ordinary is encouraged to be reported to the Vermont State Police.

Police have completed a house-to-house canvassing of homes close to the rail trail. Residents are urged to keep their doors and cars locked and not to leave keys in unattended cars.

Police say the body of the woman will be brought to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.