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January 21, 2020

Update: St. Albans Barracks / Missing person / death investigation







CASE#: 20A200298

STATION: St. Albans

CONTACT#: 802-524-5993


DATE/TIME: 6:50 p.m. Monday, January 20, 2020

TROOPER: Sgt. Michael Aamodt

LOCATION: Highgate/Swanton, VT

INCIDENT: Missing person / death investigation 


NAME: Michael Rich

AGE: 39




Late this morning, search and rescue crews located a body in the water near the location where a snowmobile operated by Michael Rich was found abandoned. The body was recovered and this afternoon was positively identified as that of Mr. Rich. An autopsy will be conducted at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Burlington to determine the cause and manner of death. The incident remains under investigation by the Vermont State Police. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call state police in St. Albans at 802-524-5993.  


For members of the media: A commander with the state police will be available at 3:30 p.m. today at the St. Albans Barracks, 140 Fisher Pond Rd.



***Initial news release, 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020***

The Vermont State Police and multiple other agencies are searching for a man who went missing while snowmobiling late Monday afternoon, Jan. 20, 2020, near the border of Highgate and Swanton. 


State police were contacted at about 6:50 p.m. Monday by the girlfriend of Michael Rich, 39, of Swanton. She reported that Mr. Rich and a friend, Rahel Barrows, 51, had been out snowmobiling when their sleds went through the ice on a creek near Lake Champlain at about 4:15 p.m. in the vicinity of Platt Road in Highgate. Both individuals were able to get out of the water and reach a vacant nearby camp. Mr. Rich eventually made his way to the home of his girlfriend, where he retrieved another snowmobile and set off in the direction of the camp. That snowmobile was later found abandoned with its hood up near the original break in the ice. 


Troopers from the St. Albans Barracks along with fire and rescue personnel began a search of the area and located Mr. Barrows unhurt in the cabin. Search efforts including a DHART helicopter on scene overnight were unsuccessful in locating Mr. Rich. 


Search efforts are continuing Tuesday, Jan. 21, with various units from the Vermont State Police and other agencies. 


Anyone with information about this incident or the whereabouts of Mr. Rich is asked to call the St. Albans Barracks at 802-524-5993. 


Updates will be issued as more information becomes available. 


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