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The mother of a woman found dead in Vermont is speaking about her daughter’s relationship with the man connected to her disappearance.
Mary Anderson, 23, was last seen leaving friend's house in Hudson, New Hampshire, around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, her mom, Sheila Anderson, told NBC Boston.
She heard the family's dogs barking around 11:30 p.m., which, for Sheila, suggested that Mary had made it back to the home she shared with her parents in Harvard, Massachusetts — about 30 miles south of Hudson.
But Sheila realized something was amiss when Mary wasn’t actually at the home the next morning.
“We’re a very tight-knit family; Mary would never leave us as a family hanging,” said the mother. “We’re very respectful of each other.”
Concerns grew that morning when Sheila and her other daughter found a backpack near a tree on the property, which Mary’s sister claimed belonged to Mary’s ex-boyfriend, 34-year-old Matthew Davis.
“I believe Mary came home from visiting friends in Hudson, New Hampshire, and I believe that Matt was waiting behind the tree when she got home,” Sheila said, explaining that Mary was supposed to text her Hudson friends when she arrived home. “But nobody got that text.”
Police found Davis’s Subaru parked one-quarter of a mile from the Anderson home on Monday, per ABC Boston affiliate WCVB.
Mary Anderson’s body was found inside her pickup truck in Brattleboro, Vermont — nearly 70 miles west of the friend’s house in Husdon — on Tuesday morning just before 1:00 a.m., according to the Vermont State Police.
Although Mary’s cause of death is still unknown, pending a postmortem examination, state police called Mary’s death “suspicious."
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts State Police announced they were looking at Davis as a person of interest.
But by the end of the day, Davis, too, would be dead in Vermont.
“A person of interest who was being sought in connection with the suspicious death of a missing Massachusetts woman was located Tuesday night while walking in West Brattleboro,” stated Vermont officials. “During an attempt to speak with the man at about 7:45 p.m., he was shot by police and has been pronounced deceased.”
State police updated their release to include that Davis was spotted by a state police detective who’d been canvassing the neighborhood. Authorities “rapidly responded” to the scene, where Davis “was armed with a knife.”
Davis died on the scene, despite life-saving measures.
Sheila Anderson told NBC Boston that she didn’t know Davis very well but claimed he'd struggled with controlling his emotions, especially when he and Mary broke up sometime last year.
“I know when they broke up, it was a rough break up,” she said. “He didn’t want it, and I know that Mary told me that he was texting her to get back together. I just know Matt had anger issues, and I knew that through Mary.”
One of Mary’s friends told the Boston Globe that the couple had been engaged before Mary broke it off in November.
The mother of Davis’ two children told Boston's ABC affiliate WCVB that Davis had a violent past.
Davis violently stabbed her boyfriend in 2009 after hiding in her bedroom closet in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was arrested hours later after trying to hide near a snow bank and spent several years in prison for the attack, she said.
Officials are asking anyone with information to come forward — including potential witnesses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont who might have seen Anderson’s blue 2017 Toyota Tacoma on Sunday or Monday, as detailed in a Tuesday release.
Detectives are also trying to determine if a connection exists between Anderson or Davis and the Brattleboro, Vermont area.
Tipsters can leave an anonymous tip with the Vermont State Police or call them at 1-802-722-4600.
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