Family questions suicide ruling

Courtesy photo
Pamela Price and her children from her last Facebook post July 4 at 4:40 p.m.

The investigation into the shooting death of a 24-year-old St. George woman is officially closed, but her family members say they will pick up where police detectives left off.

They plan an inquiry of their own to seek answers to questions they believe are unresolved.

Pamela Price, 24, died July 4 at her home in St. George of a gunshot wound to her head. State police responded to 911 calls they said came in around 6 that evening. According to the medical examiner’s report, Price died instantly and the injury was “self-inflicted.”

Price planned to attend a neighborhood barbecue that night to celebrate the Fourth of July, her favorite holiday, according to her family. She was with her two young children, her 4-year-old daughter and infant son, and her boyfriend.

Price’s mother, Kim Davis of Shelburne, and her husband were spending the weekend in Delaware and returned to Vermont hastily after getting calls from state police about the shooting that evening.

State police launched a death investigation that they now say is closed.

“I can confirm our investigation is closed pending any new information, and that it has been determined to be a suicide,” said Maj. Glenn E. Hall, criminal division commander for the Vermont State Police. The case was reviewed by the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office, which met with the family, Hall said.

“I would refer any further questions to the (state’s attorney’s) office,” Hall said.

State’s Attorney Sarah George did not return several calls about the Price case.

Davis said she isn’t satisfied with the police conclusion. Family members, neighbors, friends and co-workers were stunned by Pam Price’s death and still don’t understand exactly what happened that evening.

Those close to Price say they don’t believe she was suicidal — she was looking forward to getting together with friends and seeing fireworks that night. She also had recently started a new job at Aspen Dental in Williston, where she was making new friends, learning new skills, and was enthusiastic about her work.

“She was texting with our office group that day,” recalled co-worker Jamie Theriault, who spoke at Price’s funeral. “She was happy.”

Dr. Kevin Acone, Price’s boss at the dental office, said her death hit hard even though Price had worked with them only since the end of May. “She was someone you felt like you knew forever,” he said. “She had so much promise.”

Friends and family don’t believe Price was depressed, something that some may consider, since she had given birth less than three months before her death. “She had no signs of post-partum depression,” her mother said. “She was looking ahead to a bright future.”

Price’s last post to Facebook on July 4 was at 4:40 p.m. — a little more than an hour before 911 calls were reported. “Woke up from naps and being silly getting ready for a bbq,” she wrote with winking and smiling emojis above a photo of her holding her baby, her preschooler at her side.

Davis posted on Front Porch Forum several days ago that she has an online fundraising site to help raise money to pay an investigator to look into details they feel police didn’t explore adequately, particularly whether Price’s death may have been an accident.

“While officials have closed their case, family, friends, coworkers and neighbors remain convinced and certain that information and facts are still unknown. Help us find more answers, please,” the site says.

It lists a goal of $5,000 and as of Wednesday morning, it had reached 2 percent of that goal.

“The services of investigators are available and ready to be used, but we need YOUR help. Help us uncover the truth and allow Pamela to rest in peace and her children to grow knowing the full truth,” Davis wrote on the site.

Fundraiser site: givebutter.com/zXi6KX

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