The news that the long unsolved murder case of Sarah Hunter, who had been a golf pro at the Manchester Country Club until her mysterious disappearance one day in September, 1986, had finally resulted in an arrest warrant for an individual already incarcerated in a California jail, hopefully brings some measure of closure for her family. It also brought forth a flood tide of memories from residents who remember the sensational case, appreciation for the dogged pursuit of a solution by the police officers investigating what turned out to be a murder - Hunter's body was not found until two months later in Pawlet - and the remarkable advances in forensic DNA testing that enabled a match to be found, more than a quarter-century later.
What's so unfortunate in hindsight that the man accused of Hunter's murder - a Manchester gas station attendant - not only went on to commit another crime in California involving kidnapping and sexual assault, but was a prime suspect in the early stages of the investigation. If ultimately convicted of Hunter's death, he will be returned here to Vermont to serve whatever sentence is imposed. His sentence in California still has another six years to run, which will likely mean he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
At the least, this will hopefully prove to be one more long term mystery or "cold case" solved, and one crime which at the time rattled the usually feeling of safety and freedom from violent murders most people don't associate
with small Vermont towns. Kudos to the law enforcement officials and the Bennington County States Attorneys office for sticking with it, and hopefully, for the other members of Sarah Hunter's family, some measure of peace.