Victim also charged with burglaries – Windham County women knew each other – police seeking motive
The Vermont State Police has arrested a woman on a murder charge in connection with a death investigation in Wardsboro. The investigation remains active and ongoing Tuesday, Aug. 9, and detectives are asking for the public’s help to learn more about the movements of the suspect on Monday.
The victim is identified as Emmy Bascom, 42, of Guilford. An autopsy took place Tuesday at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. The autopsy determined the cause of Bascom’s death was multiple sharp-force injuries to the neck and torso, and the manner of death was a homicide.
Police have arrested Cara L. Rodrigues, 31, of Wardsboro on one charge of second-degree murder and two charges of burglary. She was ordered jailed without bail pending arraignment, which is expected to occur at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Brattleboro.
Investigators have determined that Bascom and Rodrigues were acquaintances who had recently spent time together, and they were seen together early Monday in Brattleboro in Bascom’s vehicle, a Chevrolet Surburban. Police collected evidence including bloody clothing and witness statements that connect Rodrigues to Bascom’s death. Detectives are continuing to investigate a motive for the killing, along with exactly when and where Bascom was killed.
A friend of Rodrigues called the police at about 6:30 p.m. Monday after he located Bascom’s body in a log landing off of Newfane Road between Wacker Road and Townshend Dam Road in Wardsboro. At the time of the call, Vermont State Police troopers already were responding to the area for a report of a burglary that had occurred at about 6:13 p.m. at 180 Cushing Flats Rd. in Newfane. Surveillance images from that location identified Rodrigues as the individual who committed the burglary. Troopers responded to the home, and a search did not locate the suspect. Police did locate Bascom’s Chevrolet Suburban parked in the middle of Newfane Road near the log landing, and secured the scene as part of the ongoing investigation.
Troopers subsequently spoke with a homeowner at 461 Galbraith Rd. who called dispatch at about 9:20 p.m. and reported having an encounter at about 7 p.m. with a woman he described as distraught who stated her first name was Cara. The state police continued checking the area for other buildings with signs of forced entry, and ultimately at about 11:30 p.m. made contact with Rodrigues at another building on the 461 Galbraith Rd. property that appeared to have been broken into. Rodrigues was taken into custody at this time and brought to the Vermont State Police barracks in Westminster.
Police are asking members of the public who live or own property in the area of Wacker, Townshend Dam, Newfane and Galbraith roads to check any security camera footage they may have for images or video of Rodrigues, the Chevrolet Suburban or anything that appears out of the ordinary. People also are asked to report any break-ins they may have experienced on Monday. Investigators are interested in any information that could shed light on Rodrigues’s whereabouts between 4 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Monday, and of the Suburban between 4 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday.
A surveillance image from 180 Cushing Flats Rd. that shows Rodrigues is attached to this release, along with a picture of the Chevrolet Suburban and Rodrigues’s subsequent mug shot.
People who have information to share should call the Vermont State Police in Westminster at 802-722-4600, or submit an anonymous tip online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.
No further information is currently available. The affidavit of probable cause will be filed with the court and made public following Rodrigues’s arraignment. Members of the media should call the Court Clerk’s Office to confirm details of the hearing.
Media accounts from 2014 and 2020 portray Bascom as a committed mom and wife who has endured much difficulty. In 2014, a propane heater fire resulted in the loss of the home of Bascom, her fiance, children and two adults. Several pets died and the family was temporarily left homeless. In 2020 her husband Brian Johnston suffered a stroke and lost her job. A Go Fund Me site was established to help them. One contributor said she gave “because this family is generous, loving, and always the first to help others!”
A Cara L. Rodrigues has lived at two Townshend addresses, online sources say.