WATERBURY — Vermont State Police announced March 29 a reward of up to $5,000 would be offered to anyone who gives information leading to the apprehension of alleged murder suspect Jayveon Caballero, age 29, of Barre. Caballero is being sought in connection with the January 22 shooting death of Markus Austin, 33, of Montpelier. Police encourage anyone with information to contact their nearest Vermont State Police barracks or call 229-9191, or the Montpelier Police Department at 223-3445.
Early investigation indicated that Caballero knew the shooting victim and that both were involved in a multi-person fight that occurred earlier in the morning outside Gusto’s bar in Barre around closing time (2 a.m.). The brawl also involved other people, some of whom have been interviewed. Detectives learned that Austin allegedly assaulted Caballero’s girlfriend, Desiree Cary, 22, during the melee.
Investigation revealed that at about 4:30 a.m., Caballero confronted Austin outside Austin’s home at 191 Barre Street in Montpelier. Detectives believe that Caballero shot Austin once in the torso in the parking lot at this location, then made a quick getaway. A witness called police about hearing the gunshot; when police arrived, they found Austin deceased by his car.
On Jan. 23 police issued an arrest warrant for Caballero on charges of second degree murder. Caballero fled the area Jan. 22 with the help of Reginald Jones, 36, of Barre. Jones was charged with accessory after the fact on Jan. 25 as a result of driving Caballero to the bus station in White River Junction and purchasing a ticket for him. Caballero’s current whereabouts remain unknown, but according to his Facebook page, he has close ties to Orlando, Florida. He is from Red Hook, New York.
Austin was known in the community as a former Frost Heaves basketball player, and for working with children at local schools as well as with patients at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital. Austin left behind his young son and his girlfriend, Caryn Pelzer, who lost her mother the same day Austin was shot. Austin’s co-worker, Melissa Jean Anderson, launched a fundraising campaign to help Pelzer and their son: www.gofundme.com/3a01lqg.
(From a combination of police and staff reports)