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November 8, 2012

Local couple dead in apparent murder-suicide


“For nine years, Wendy was an invaluable member of FSC’s Board of Trustees,’’ Marner said. “She, Willis and their two wonderful sons have been a precious addition to the FSC community and to Franklin.’’

At SUNY Delhi, the deaths of the Browns were reported by University Police to administrators as unexpected, unattended deaths, Joel Smith, vice president for college relations at SUNY Delhi, said early Wednesday afternoon. Willis had been a faculty member at the campus since 2005, Smith said.

“Our campus is terribly saddened by today’s tragic news,’’ Smith said Wednesday afternoon. Counselors were available at the campus, he said.

At midday Wednesday, yellow police tape surrounded the white clapboard house on Main Street in the village, and two deputy patrol cars were parked at opposite ends of the property.

Dr. Richard Ucci,

Delaware County medical examiner, and county District Attorney Richard Northrup were at the scene, said deputies who withheld further details pending autopsy results. The State Police Forensic Investigation Unit is assisting in the investigation.

Neighbor Larry Archbold, who said he moved to Franklin from Wisconsin two months ago, described the couple as “good folks,” although he didn’t know the couple well. He said he saw them in the yard regularly, doing things like raking leaves.

Archbold said that in the time he lived diagonally across the street from the house there had been no hint of trouble, noise or arguments.

“Nothing usually goes on in Franklin,” he said. Archbold said he saw authorities take two gurneys into the house at about 11:30 a.m. but didn’t see the gurneys removed.

A woman in Franklin who declined to give her name, said the couple had two sons, 18 and 24 years old. Several other residents refused to talk Wednesday about the Browns.

Willis Brown, an engineer who taught electrical instrumentation and controls in the technology division, was known on campus as a leader, Smith said. The college president and provost met to console faculty, Smith said, and faculty and counselors met with students in classes to share the news.

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