Suspect denies role in collegian's death

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) -- A man suspected in the disappearance of a Vermont collegian who turned up dead last week denied having anything to do with it when police interviewed him, according to court papers filed Monday.
Police, meanwhile, said for the first time that 21-year-old Michelle Gardner-Quinn was a homicide victim. They would release no other findings from the autopsy, conducted Saturday.
"The cause of death will be listed as soon as test results from the medical examiner and additional information from the investigation becomes available," police Lt. Kathleen Stubbing said late Monday.
In the affidavit, Brian L. Rooney, 36, told police he walked up Main Street in Burlington with the woman about 2 a.m. Oct. 7 but parted ways from her.
"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 the affidavit by Detective James Claremont of the Vermont State Police, released just before a court appearance in which Rooney pleaded innocent to sex charges unrelated to the college student's disappearance.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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