CASTLETON, Vt. – Vermont State Police have identified the woman killed on the D&H Rail Trail on Thursday, Oct. 5, as Honoree Fleming, 77. An autopsy shows she died by a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of her death is a homicide.

Vermont State University confirmed Fleming was the Dean of Education at the former Castleton University. In a statement by VTSU, Fleming was noted to be an impressive researcher who faculty, students, and staff all loved.

“Our hearts go out to the members of our community who taught with Honoree and had her as a beloved teacher during their time at Castleton. Our deepest sympathies go to her husband, Ron, family and friends,” Interim President Mike Smith wrote.

She was married to Ron Powers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author. The couple both lived in Castleton.

Fleming’s body was found near a home on South Street shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Vermont State Police say a witness told investigators they heard gunshots, then saw a man walking toward the Castleton campus.

Vermont State Police say the suspect is armed and dangerous. He is described as white, about 5-foot-10, with short, dark colored hair.

He was last seen wearing a dark gray shirt with a black backpack.

Just before midnight Friday, police closed the trail and South Street as troopers went house-to-house in the area. They urged residents to lock their doors and report anything suspicious.

VTSU-Castleton’s campus was closed Friday. Students were on fall break at the time, and the school delayed their return to campus until Sunday, Oct. 8.

Local middle and high schools also canceled all activities for athletes, both home and away, on Friday.

Police asked residents and businesses to review any surveillance video shot between early afternoon and early evening Thursday for images of the suspect and other potential evidence.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Rutland at 802-773-9101. Tips also may be submitted anonymously online at