A Pennsylvania professor was stabbed to death in a Tuesday murder-suicide at his Wilkins Township home. His wife then shot herself to death.
According to a statement from the Allegheny County Department of Police, officers arrived a little before 10 a.m. at a local home to check on the welfare of a couple involved in a “violent domestic” dispute. A third party had told police someone inside the residence had been stabbed, and that the woman inside had a gun.
When officers couldn’t obtain a response from the residents in the home, SWAT officers were called out to assist. After gaining entry, the SWAT team found 59-year-old Dr. Marinus Iwuchukwu and his wife, 50-year-old Charte Dunn, dead.
Both had suffered stab wounds, according to the press release, and Dunn also had a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It’s unclear what led up to the fatal incident.
The couple had been married since 2017, according to marital records reviewed by the Duquesne Duke. Though Dr. Iwuchukwu had filed for divorce in 2020, the split had not yet been finalized, the outlet reports.
Iwuchukwu, who had a Ph.D. in systematic theology and an M.A. in journalism from Marquette University, originally hailed from Nigeria. He was an associate professor of theology at Duquesne, the school confirmed. He had worked there since 2008 and specialized in interreligious dialogue, inclusive religious pluralism and media & religion. He was also the author and editor of various books.
A Duquesne University spokesperson said the professor’s death was a “tragedy for all involved.”
Marisa Captline, a student aide in the theology department who worked with him in 2022, told the Duquesne Duke that Iwuchukwu was “genuinely, just such a kindhearted person” who had always expressed interest about what was going on in her life.
Others who knew him expressed their heartbreak on a Catholic Theological Society of America announcement of his death. “Marinus became an incredibly accomplished academic theologian … and our world is enriched by his work,” wrote Richard Hanson, who said he’d been in grad school with Iwuchukwu. “But I know that I personally felt even more deeply his kindness, warmth, and ability to communicate peace and love in the most simple and profound ways with all those whom he encountered.”
Neighbors of Iwuchukwu also told the Duquesne Duke they were shocked by his slaying, describing him as an “outstanding neighbor.”
“I’m still looking across the street,” Carl Mosley told the outlet. “There’s no words, really. I’m kind of speechless, because he was a good guy.”
Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the Allegheny County Police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477); callers can remain anonymous.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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