Shippee's cause of death left blank

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VERNON — Vermont authorities are withholding the cause and manner of death for Derrick Shippee, the New Hampshire man who is the prime suspect in a double murder in Hinsdale, N.H., two weeks ago.

Shippee's body was discovered on family property in Vernon April 12, and the date of his death is listed only as "April 2019." The cause and manner of death were left blank.

Shippee, 28, lived in Westmoreland at the time of his death, according to the death certificate. Windham County State's Attorney Tracy Shriver said Shippee's death is still under investigation.

New Hampshire law enforcement officials issued an arrest warrant for Shippee hours before his body was found in Vernon.

Shippee was the prime suspect in the shooting deaths of Neal Bolster, 29, and Bolster's girlfriend, Aaliyah Jacobs, 19, of Brattleboro.

Police, conducting a welfare check at Bolster's Hinsdale home, discovered the bodies on April 11. Both had been shot.

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The next day, the New Hampshire Attorney General's office issued an arrest warrant for Shippee, citing him with two counts of second-degree murder. No information tying Shippee to the deaths has been released.

Both Bolster and Shippee had criminal histories that included drug use. Bolster was facing charges of selling heroin to a man who died of a drug overdose.

Shippee had three prior convictions from 2012 for violation of an abuse prevention order, domestic assault and lewd and lascivious conduct. He was also convicted in 2014 for misdemeanor heroin possession.

His death certificate said he was found in a field. Shippee's body was transported to the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner's office in Burlington for an autopsy on April 12, and no information about the autopsy was released until Tuesday morning.

Ben Truman, the spokesman for the Vermont Department of Health, said the blank spaces on the death certificate usually mean a police investigation is continuing, with the majority of the personal information on the certificate provided by a funeral home.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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