Coroner: Creighton U. prof was shot, wife stabbed

A Creighton University professor found dead in his Omaha home last month was shot, and his wife was stabbed to death, according to a coroner’s report released Friday.

Omaha police officer James Shade, a department spokesman, said authorities are still investigating the case. Authorities have been looking at the possibility that the slayings of 65-year-old Roger Brumback and his wife, 65-year-old Mary Brumback, may be linked to the 2008 stabbing deaths of an 11-year-old boy and his family housekeeper.

The Douglas County coroner determined that Roger Brumback was killed with a gun, and his wife was stabbed, according to the county attorney’s office. Their bodies were discovered May 14.

Shade said an anonymous donor has offered $25,000 as a reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer told reporters last month that authorities are “exploring very hard” the possibility that the killings of Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary, are tied to the unsolved deaths of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and 57-year-old Shirlee Sherman.

Schmaderer acknowledged a connection to Creighton University but would not elaborate on any links. Roger Brumback was a pathology professor and colleague of Thomas’ parents at the university’s school of medicine. Thomas’ father, Dr. William Hunter, works in the same department as Brumback did, and the boy’s mother, Dr. Claire Hunter, works in the cardiology department.

The 2008 slayings of Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman at the Hunter family’s 3,700-square-foot home in Dundee were featured last year on “America’s Most Wanted” and a $54,000 reward was offered for information. The historic neighborhood in midtown — near one of the city’s main parks — is home to some of Omaha’s most prominent residents, including billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

All four homicides have unnerved Omaha as much because of their locations as for their unsolved nature. The Brumbacks’ two-story home in west Omaha is not in as affluent an area as Dundee, but is in a well-kept neighborhood built in the 1960s where large shady trees shelter green lawns far from the city neighborhoods that typically see one of Omaha’s average 40 homicides a year.

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