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Still digging for clues in O’Hagan murder

September 12, 2011

Saturday marked a year that 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan disappeared from her home in Sheffield. Photo by Christopher Roy

SHEFFIELD – Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of when 78-year-old Pat O’Hagan disappeared. On Oct. 3, hunters discovered O’Hagan’s body in Wheelock, about 10 miles from her home. Police called her death a homicide.
Major Ed Ledo, of the Vermont State Police, held a press conference at the Sheffield Town Hall Friday. He said law enforcement officers believe more than one person was involved with the crime. Based on information that came in during the investigation, police searched two nearby bodies of water, Ledo said, but he did not say what evidence was being sought.
State police continue to pursue all tips and information in their coordinating efforts with other local law enforcement agencies, federal agencies and the Attorney General’s Office.
“To date, scores of individuals have been interviewed, evidence has been recovered and forensic testing has been conducted,” said Ledo. However, he declined to say what type of evidence police collected or the condition of O’Hagan’s body. “The integrity of this investigation is important and there is key information we cannot release, nor are we going to be able to do that for some time.”
Meanwhile, authorities and the O’Hagan family are asking anyone with information, no matter how small, to contact police.  
Some of the residents who attended the press conference seemed frustrated that police did not provide more information. Harman Clark, a municipal judge from New Jersey, said authorities could have stated Friday’s message in an e-mail or they could have held a short press conference at the state police barracks.  Clark was also disappointed authorities did not say anything more than they did last year. 
As for the community itself, he said, “I think there is frustration, but I think there are also patience and the desire to have it done right.”
Clark said he is not scared to live in town. “You have to live a normal life and I think most of us do,” he said.
Dolores Chamberlain of Barton called O’Hagan a “dear friend” and said the pair did a lot of volunteer work together.
“I miss her dearly,” said Chamberlain. She said she is glad police are making progress, but wishes they would do it quicker. “We’d like to get someone responsible behind bars for what happened to Pat. It was a totally senseless crime. I can’t drive through Sheffield without feeling sad about what happened to her.”
O’Hagan's son, Matthew O’Hagan, who attended the press conference with several of his siblings, said the past year has been difficult. He said the state police and others have done a good job at providing information that keeps the family going. 
“We remain very confident this will be solved,” said O’Hagan. “We stay close and believe very strongly this will be solved. We will be able to say goodbye to Mom, officially, when this is closed.”
The O’Hagans and police stressed there is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the person who abducted and murdered O’Hagan.
If you believe you have information that may help to solve the O'Hagan murder, please contact the following numbers: Vermont State Police St. Johnsbury Barracks 802-748-3111; Vermont State Police Tip Line 802-241-5355; Northeast Crimes Stoppers 802-748-2222.

 

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