Vt. police identify dead woman, make arrests

July 30, 2011 - 3:44 PM

DUMMERSTON, Vt. (AP) — The woman found dead by a passing motorist in Dummerston was shot in the head and two men have been arrested in connection with her death, Vermont State Police said Saturday.

Police identified the victim as Melissa Barratt of Bellows Falls, 31. They said one of the men arrested, 29-year-old Frank Caraballo of Brattleboro, had been searching for her regarding drug-related activity before she was killed. They said Caraballo had been seen walking with her into the woods where her body was found Friday.

Caraballo and 22-year-old Joshua Makhanda-Lopez of Springfield, Mass., have been charged with second-degree homicide, unlawful restraint. Both also face unrelated charges of selling crack-cocaine.

Police said they have information that places Barratt, who was forcefully removed from her Brattleboro apartment recently, with Caraballo and Makhanda-Lopez on Thursday.

Both men are being held without bail at Southeastern Correctional Center and are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Windham County District Court.