St. JOHNSBURY, Vt. — Townspeople say a Vermont husband and wife charged in the death of a popular teacher were down on their luck but nothing suggested they were capable of a bizarre and cruel killing.

Waterford Town Clerk Joanne Jurentkuff says that Allen and Patricia Prue “had hard times, but they weren’t a family of bad news.”

The body of prep school teacher Melissa Jenkins was found Monday. Authorities say the Prues lured her from her home with a ruse about a broken-down car and killed her in front of her 2-year-old son.

Dan Maguire is Allen Prue’s lawyer. He is calling the case a tragedy and says Vermonters are shocked.

Neighbor Jessica Fontecha says Allen Prue once drove her to her home when snow made the driveway too slippery.

She says “they weren’t horrible people.”