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Monroeville native who became noted researcher in Nebraska was shot to death

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Friday, June 21, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
 

A prominent Creighton University educator who grew up in Monroeville was shot to death, and his wife died of stab wounds, officials in Nebraska said on Friday.

Omaha Crime Stoppers is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the slayings of 65-year-old Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary Brumback, also 65, said Officer James Shade, a spokesman for the Omaha Police Department.

A special task force is trying to determine if their deaths are linked to the 2008 stabbing deaths of an 11-year-old boy and his family's housekeeper, who also have ties to Creighton personnel.

The Brumbacks' bodies were discovered on May 14.

Shade said there are no new developments in the investigation. An anonymous donor put up the reward, he said.

Roger Brumback, who was planning to retire this month and move with his wife to land they owned in West Virginia, was a 1965 graduate of Gateway High School and a noted researcher in Alzheimer's disease.

Brumback worked as a neurologist at UPMC Presbyterian and Children's Hospital from 1977-78 and was chairman of the pathology department at Creighton University from 2001 though 2010. His mother, Frances, lives in Monroeville.

Thomas C. Hunter, 11, and Shirlee K. Sherman, 58, were found stabbed to death in 2008 inside Thomas' home in Omaha. Thomas was the son of Dr. William Hunter, who was a colleague of Roger Brumback in the pathology department, and Claire Hunter, who is in the school's cardiology department.

Sherman was the Hunters' housekeeper.

The slayings in the Hunter family's 3,700-square-foot home in the Dundee area of Omaha were featured last year on “America's Most Wanted,” and a $54,000 reward was offered for information. The historic neighborhood is home to some of Omaha's most prominent residents, including billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

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 that's not accustomed to violence.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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