Two bodies found Wednesday in a Vermont forest have been identified as young men who were reported missing in mid-October, police say.
Both deaths have been ruled homicides but the motive remains unclear.
Jahim Solomon of Pittsfield and Eric White of Chicopee, both 21, were both shot in the head off the road between the towns of Eden and Albany, Vermont State Police said.
Police are treating the investigation as an isolated event.
The men had been traveling to northern Vermont together when an unannounced radio silence alerted their respective family members that something was wrong. The two last contacted family on Oct. 15.
After a few uncertain days, their relatives notified the authorities, and the two were reported missing.
The families told police that Mr. Solomon and Mr. White had been in the areas of Burlington, Lowell, Morrisville, and Stowe.
The initial police report said the “disappearances occurred under suspicious circumstances,” adding that there were “concerns for the welfare” of the two young men, without disclosing any further detail.
Vermont State Police executed a search warrant at a residence in the town of Albany last weekend, assisted by the state police’s search and rescue team, along with New England K-9 search and rescue.
No arrests were made in connection to the investigation but police said that they had identified several persons of interest and possible suspects.
Vermont State Police Major Dan Trudeau told local press that the investigation was complicated and that it had been difficult for police to obtain a true story from people interviewed.
On Tuesday afternoon, a game warden with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife notified police after he spotted suspicious items several dozen feet off Eden-Albany road. State Police secured the scene for the night.
The next morning, investigators found in the area the remains of one individual. As searches continued, detectives located a second body in the afternoon, about a mile north of where the first body was found.
An autopsy report from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington confirmed on Thursday that the bodies found in Eden were indeed Mr. Solomon and Mr. White.
Mr. Solomon died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. The cause of death for Mr. White was determined to be a single gunshot wound to the head.
The Vermont State Police, including the crime scene search team, is processing the locations where the bodies were discovered. The investigation involves detectives from the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigations, along with the Victim Services Unit.
The Morristown Police Department, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are providing assistance with the ongoing investigation.
Vermont State Police said they are continuing to pursue leads, and called on the public to relay any information that could help the investigation.