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BURLINGTON, Vt.—It's been a busy summer for police across Vermont investigating homicides from one end of the state to the other.
There were two slayings in June and five more last month, the most killings in a single month in four years. Earlier this month, the body of a Massachusetts man killed in his home state and dumped along Interstate 91 in Weathersfield, bringing the number of slayings investigated by police this summer to eight.
"It's been very un-Vermonty," said the state's Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Steven Shapiro. His office performs autopsies in the bodies of murder victims.
The eight slayings that have been investigated since June equal the yearly total number of homicides for 2002 and 2005 and it was four less than last year's total.
"This summer's probably the busiest summer in my 30 years in the state police," said Col. James Baker, the commander of the Vermont State Police.
During the first six months of the year there were two homicides in Vermont
Officials at the Vermont Criminal Information Center in Waterbury say that because there are so few homicides in Vermont, fluctuations carry little statistical weight. Despite the current situation, statistics show that crime and violence has decreased.
The number of homicides might be an aberration, but there's taxing to police.
"It's been a challenge," he said. "There's no other way to describe it. But troopers are focused. They know what their mission is. We're doing everything we can to make sure people are safe."
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