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Local News -

November 10, 2012

Police 'baffled' in hunt for murder-suicide motive

Police confirmed Friday that deaths of two people in the Village of Franklin early Wednesday were a murder-suicide.

A preliminary autopsy showed that Willis Brown shot his wife, Wendy, with a 9mm rifle and then turned the rifle on himself, Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond said.

DuMond said Willis Brown, 58 and an assistant professor of applied sciences and building technologies at SUNY Delhi, called 911 about 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, told a dispatcher that he had just killed his wife and said he was going to kill himself.

A local, off-duty deputy was sent to the scene, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. DuMond said that the deputy arrived within five minutes, and that Willis Brown was dead by then.

“She found two deceased bodies and immediately relayed that information to us and established a crime scene,” he said.

The undersheriff declined to say where in the house the deputy found the bodies.

It also remained unclear when Wendy Brown, a financial adviser who worked in Oneonta, had been slain.

“We’re still awaiting the final autopsy report,” DuMond said. “That’ll probably have that information.”

The full autopsy report from Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton may not be filed for two or more weeks, he said.

Willis Brown gave no hint about why he killed his 58-year-old wife, either in the 911 call or in any other manner, DuMond said.

“We’re completely baffled by it,” he said. “We do not have any motive whatsoever.”

The undersheriff said no note had been found. Other than the 911 call, the only communication from Willis Brown that morning was a cryptic message posted at 6:34 a.m. Wednesday on the “What’s New” section of a canoeing and camping website he administered. It read, “I’ am Sorry Good by’’ and contained a link to www.thedailystar.com.

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