Police Charge Gebo With 1st Degree Murder — Cause of Cook’s Death: Strangulation

by Carla Occaso

MIDDLESEX — After the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Cindy Cook had been strangled to death, police issued an arrest warrant for her boyfriend, Randal Gebo, 61, of Barre.

According to a police report issued July 15, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has finalized the cause of Cook’s death to be neck compressions and the manner to be homicide.

The body of Cook, 59, of Barre, was found over a bank in Middlesex July 12 by a woman walking her dog on Brook Road.

When police responded, they found Cook’s body without identification and in a state of decomposition. But soon investigators identified her and discovered her car, a cream-colored Mini Cooper, had gone missing along with her boyfriend, Randal Gebo, 61. The Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit, along with Barre City police and law enforcement across the country went into full-blown search/investigation mode.

Gebo was arrested July 19 in Downers Grove, Illinois following a traffic stop. Before his arrest, Gebo had been caught on surveillance camera driving her car and then located in several other states, including Arkansas and Wyoming, after using her stolen credit cards. He was detained and lodged in Illinois based on charges of aggravated vehicle operation without owners consent and fraudulent use and possession of a credit card issued to another.

In conjunction with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, on Aug. 15, detectives filed for and were granted an arrest warrant for 1st degree murder against Gebo by the Honorable Superior Court Judge John Pacht. Bail was set at $2,000,000. At this time, Gebo is still awaiting extradition to the state of Vermont  from Illinois and it is anticipated that he will be returned via the United States Marshal’s Service within the next couple weeks, date to be determined.

Vermont State Police wish to thank multiple members of police agencies in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana and specifically the Illinois State Police, Barre City Police Department, Vermont U.S. Marshal’s Service, Vermont/Illinois US Attorney’s Office and the Washington County State’s Attorney’s office for their invaluable assistance with this investigation.

Investigators continue to encourage anyone with information about this incident to contact Vermont State Police detectives at 802-229-9191.

— based primarily on a police report by Captain J.P. Sinclair, Chief Criminal Investigator with the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit

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