US professor wanted for murder found dead

Click to follow
The Independent US

A US university professor wanted for killing his wife and two other people at a community theatre two weeks ago was found dead in the north Georgia woods, his body covered in brush and dirt.

Two guns were found with the body of marketing professor George Zinkhan, who vanished after the April 25 shootings near the University of Georgia, said Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin.

The guns matched those described by witnesses to the shootings, though police did not say how they believe Zinkhan died.

Authorities said they would not release a cause of death or say whether Zinkhan left a note until a press conference scheduled for Tuesday.

Dogs found Zinkhan's body about 10 miles west of Athens in thick woods in Bogart, where he lived.

Searchers - as many as 200 at one point - had been scouring the woods since his Jeep was found wrecked and abandoned in a ravine about a mile away a week ago.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab confirmed later that the body was Zinkhan's.

Reached by phone at her home in Baltimore, his mother, Mary, said she was aware of the discovery.

"I've heard that news," she said. "I have nothing to say about it."

Zinkhan had been missing since police said he opened fire on a reunion for the Town and Gown Players, a local theatre group.

He argued outside the theatre with his wife, Marie Bruce, 47, a family law attorney who was serving as the group's president.

Police say he walked away briefly before returning with two handguns and killing her, along with Clemson University economist and actor Tom Tanner, 40, and Ben Teague, 63, a long time theatre group volunteer who was married to a popular UGA professor. Two other people were injured by bullet fragments.

Police at first said they had no motive for the shooting. The FBI said later that friends and family indicated Ms Bruce may have been considering a divorce.

Zinkhan was last seen dropping off his children, who were in the car during the shootings but weren't injured, with a neighbour. He said there was an emergency.