No Arrests Made In Professor's Killing
Updated On: Apr 09 2010 05:52:24 AM EDT
Plantation police continued their search Friday for the person who killed a Nova Southeastern University professor, stabbing him to death during a violent home invasion robbery early Tuesday.
Kay Morrissey, the wife of slain professor Joseph Morrissey, was back at the police department Friday, talking to detectives. She arrived a little after 1 p.m. with three friends and walked inside with one of the lead detectives in the case. Sources told Local 10 that Kay Morrissey has been ruled out as having anything to do with the killing. Police indicated Thursday that she is playing a significant role in helping to track down the people who killed her husband.
Investigators said someone broke into the Morrisseys' Plantation home early Tuesday and tied the couple up, then fatally stabbed Joseph Morrissey, set the house on fire and escaped. Kay Morrissey and the couple's 5-year-old son, who slept through the attack, escaped.
No arrests have been made in the case, although investigators have questioned a person of interest. Plantation police won?t confirm the identity of the person of interest, but Local 10 discovered that early Thursday morning, they booked into the Broward County Jail 21-year-old Randy Tundidor.
Workers at the Beverly Hills Café in Plantation confirmed to Local 10 he is the man whom SWAT team members yanked out of their restaurant Wednesday afternoon.
Tundidor's lawyer confirmed Thursday that Tundidor was questioned in connection with the professor's killing. He has not been charged in connection with the Morrissey case.
"He's a person of interest or a suspect, and that's a long way from being charged, and a lot further away from being convicted," said Jim Lewis, Tundidor's attorney.
Tundidor has a lengthy criminal history and was arrested on a probation violation charge Wednesday. State records show he is currently on probation for burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft and trafficking in stolen property.
Local 10 has also discovered Tundidor?s relatives rent a Plantation townhome that county records show is owned by Morrissey.
Neighbors said the Tundidors are Morrissey?s tenants. The neighbors confirmed that the Morrissey family lived there until about a year and half ago. Records show the Tundidors moved in back in October.
Tundidor apparently was staying at his father's window tinting business before he was taken into custody. Plantation police detectives went through the contents of the building Thursday night and Friday. They did not say what, if anything, they found.
Plantation police are not saying much about their investigation. They said they have not ruled out the possibility that more than one person could be involved in the killing.
?The way this investigation is progressing, we do not believe this is a random act of violence. We believe the home was specifically targeted," said Lt. Rob Rettig, of the Plantation Police Department.
Police still won?t speculate on the motive, but they did release some details Thursday. They said the attacker entered Morrissey?s home shortly before midnight Monday, cut the screen on an open window and climbed in. The attacker drove Morrissey and his wife to an ATM and forced them to withdraw money, leaving their 5-year-old son home alone.
?They were then driven back to the residence, where they were bound. At that point, Mr. Morrissey was subsequently stabbed to death," Rettig said.
Police initially had said Morrissey was shot. On Thursday, police said that while the killer was armed with a handgun, and despite witness reports of hearing gunshots, the medical examiner determined the wounds on Morrissey's body were stab-type puncture wounds, not the type of wounds created by bullets.
On Wednesday afternoon, Plantation police hauled a blue Dumpster on the back of a flatbed truck to the back of the police station. It's unclear from where it came, but sources told Local 10 that inside it, detectives found evidence of the crime.
Also on Wednesday, police divers searched the canal behind Morrissey's home and the state fire marshal used an explosives-sniffing K-9 to scour the yard.
Police aren?t saying anything about the investigation -- nothing about the motive, a suspect description, or a getaway car. Their silence had neighbors nervous.
?It?s very unusual, very unusual," one woman told Local 10's Roger Lohse.
A few doors down from the scene on Wednesday, workers upgraded an alarm system. The company told Local 10 that the homeowner called them when police cars and crime scene tape crowded the tree-lined street.
?We?re upgrading certain sensors and all the zones available," said A&E Systems worker Ricky Iglesias.
Although police said they do not think the crime was random, the killer's connection to the family is unclear. But family members are certain it has nothing to do with the history of domestic violence allegations between the professor and the family of his ex-wife. Those charges were ultimately dropped.
Anyone with information is asked to call Plantation police.
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