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Suspect in Vt. Denies Involvement

October 16, 2006

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) _ A man suspected in the disappearance of a University of Vermont student who was found dead last week denied having anything to do with her death, according to an affidavit filed Monday.

Brian L. Rooney, 36, told police that he walked up with Main Street in Burlington with the student, Michelle Gardner-Quinn, on Oct. 7 at about 2 a.m. and then they parted.

``He advised he separated from Gardner-Quinn at that point and he never saw her again. Rooney denied having any knowledge or involvement in Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance,″ according to an affidavit by Detective James Claremont of the Vermont State Police.

Gardner-Quinn’s body was found Friday at the top of a gorge in Richmond, about 15 miles east of the University of Vermont campus, where she was a senior.

Rooney has been named as a suspect by police in Burlington but has yet to be charged.

In the affidavit, filed in Vermont District Court in St. Johnsbury, 80 miles east of Burlington, Rooney is accused of unrelated sex crimes that came to light as a result of the investigation into Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance.

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