Vermont son speaks out 6 months after retired mother’s mystery murder: 'Turn yourself in and turn to Christ'

Honoree Fleming, a retired biologist and a former dean of education at the Vermont State University Castleton Campus, went out for a walk on a sunny day on a local hiking trail.

Then she met a murderer.

Police released a sketch of the suspect based on witnesses who said they saw a man in the area of the shooting, but six months later, they have not arrested or publicly identified him.

“Her killer will always be on the run and hunted,” said Fleming’s son, Dean Powers, who published a book of poems called “The Biochemistry of Faith” in his mother’s memory this month as he is calling on her killer to turn himself in.

Whoever the killer is, he is considered armed and dangerous.

SON OF SLAIN VERMONT BIOLOGIST, 77, BLASTS ‘MORAL DECLINE’ IN US AFTER DAYLIGHT HIKING TRAIL AMBUSH

Honoree Fleming, 77, pictured in an undated photo provided by Vermont State Police. The retired educator was found shot to death on a trail in Castleton on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023. (Vermont State Police)

“I want to issue this challenge to mom’s killer. Turn yourself in and turn to Christ, or I will make you a 16-point trophy buck that can get hunted 24/7 all year in Vermont,” Powers told Fox News Digital.

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Around 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, hikers called 911 to report finding Fleming’s body on the Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail in Castleton, near the end closest to the college grounds. The state medical examiner ruled her death a homicide with a gunshot wound to the head.

Two days later, Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, dominating headlines that Powers said he believes drowned out pleas for help in his mother’s case.

VERMONT POLICE RELEASE SKETCH OF MAN SOUGHT IN MURDER OF 77-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ON HIKING TRAIL

A composite sketch of the man sought in connection with the shooting death of 77-year-old retiree Honoree Fleming while on a Vermont hiking trail on Oct. 5, 2023. Six months after the murder, the suspect remains at large. (Adam Temple/Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office)

Police have released a composite sketch of the suspect, who they describe as around 5 feet, 10 inches tall with red hair. He was last seen wearing a dark-gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack while heading off in a “northerly” direction up the trail.

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The suspect sketch is based on interviews with witnesses who saw a person of interest on the trail behaving oddly around the time of the shooting, Vermont State Police Capt. Scott Dunlap told reporters in October.

However, the killer was “smart enough” not to have a cellphone with him at the time of the shooting, Powers said, complicating the police effort to identify a suspect.

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“They have disappeared like a ghost,” he said.

There is a $25,000 reward for information about the case. However, state police said earlier this month it has not attracted any tips directly. They have received more than 150 tips and leads from members of the public.

VERMONT POLICE RELEASE NEW PROFILE OF SUSPECT IN RETIREE MURDER ON POPULAR HIKING TRAIL

Honoree Fleming stands next to her husband Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who co-wrote “Flags of Our Fathers” and assisted Sen. Ted Kennedy with his memoir. (Ron Powers/Facebook)

“We want to reassure the public that this case remains a priority, and the state police has devoted and continues to devote significant resources to the investigation,” Capt. Jeremy Hill, commander of the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit, said in a statement. “Our thoughts remain with Honoree’s family, friends, loved ones and [the] community.”

Police previously said they were unsure whether the attack came at random or if Fleming had been targeted.

Anyone with information that could help crack the case is asked to call the Rutland barracks at 802-773-9101, or submit anonymously online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

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