Former University Dean Shot To Death On Mountain Trail


Dana Abizaid Contributor
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Honoree Fleming, the wife of best-selling author Ron Powers and a retired dean and professor, was found shot to death earlier this week on a trail not far from the Castleton Campus of Vermont State University, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

An autopsy revealed Fleming, 77, died of a gunshot wound to the head on Thursday afternoon, police said Friday, according to the AP.

Castleton University announced via Facebook that Monday’s classes and all other scheduled events, including an open house, would be canceled. Regular classes would resume Tuesday, the post noted. (RELATED: State Police Searching For ‘Armed And Dangerous Man’ After Woman’s ‘Suspicious Death’ On Popular Walking Trail)

Security footage from the area around the trail was reviewed “which hasn’t been of much help at this rate,” Major Dan Trudeau of the state police criminal division said during a news conference Friday afternoon, per the AP. “We’re still canvassing the area … It is early hunting season. There’s hunters who may have game cameras in the woods,” he added.

A possible suspect was identified walking towards the campus after gunshots were heard, police said. A witness described the suspect as a white male with dark hair, wearing a dark gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack, the AP reported. State police cautioned that the suspect is considered armed and dangerous and asked anybody who might have seen him to come forward.

Fleming “was a part of the Castleton family and was beloved by faculty, staff, and students” and that many “students benefited from Dr. Fleming’s teachings and research,” per the university’s Facebook post.

Fleming was married to Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Powers, best known for co-writing “Flags of Our Fathers,” a book about the men who raised the U.S. flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, according to the AP. She died within days of the couple’s 45th wedding anniversary.

“Those of you who knew her know that she was beautifully named. I have never known a more sterling heart and soul than hers. She has taken far more than half my own heart and soul with her,” Powers posted online Friday, the AP reported.