Vermont police: Missing student last seen at Robert Durst store

Vermont police say missing Middlebury College student last seen at store owned by Robert Durst

Police in Vermont said Tuesday that a college student who vanished in 1971 was last seen inside a Middlebury health food store owned by millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst.

Lynne Schulze, an 18-year-old Middlebury College student, disappeared Dec. 10, 1971, and was last seen at All Good Things, which was owned and operated by Durst, who currently faces a murder charge in Los Angeles.

"We know that Lynne shopped at the store on the last day she was seen," said Det. Kris Bowdish of the Middlebury Police Department.

Police Chief Thomas Hanley said Schulze and Durst were in the same approximate location at the same time, although investigators don't have a witness who can place them together.

He said the department has been aware since 2012 that Durst owned the health food store at the time Schulze went missing.

Given that Durst was recently charged in Los Angeles in the 2000 slaying of his friend Susan Berman, Hanley said Durst is “very interesting to us."

“We have someone involved in nefarious activity, who was approximate to a missing person,” he said.

Hanley said he did not believe Durst was questioned by detectives at the time. Schulze's body has never been found, but Hanley said she was probably a victim of wrongdoing.

Bowdish said Durst came to the Vermont college town in 1971 and began operating the store at 15 Court Street, not far from the bus station.

Investigators first reopened the case in 1992, and in July 2012 an individual who did not know the teen contacted the department to point out that Durst owned the store at the time. Bowdish said the person was not connected to "The Jinx," the HBO documentary on Durst.

Schulze's disappearance was reported by her parents on Dec. 16, 1971, after she missed an exam and her college friends contacted them.

Hanley told reporters that investigators have visited a property owned by Durst outside Middlebury. He said the department is working on the case with a number of other agencies, including the FBI.

“It has been frustrating," he said. "We are following the latest news on Durst like you are. We are trying to get as many memories going as possible.”

Hanley said he believes progress is being made on the case but “we are not close.”

Durst is being held without bail in New Orleans on drugs and weapons charges.

Follow Southern California crime @lacrimes.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

2:59 p.m.: This story has been updated with details from the news conference held by Vermont police.

This story was first published at 11:29 a.m.

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