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Stab wounds link deaths of Western Pa. natives in Nebraska

| Friday, July 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

OMAHA, Neb. — Police called to the home where a prominent pathology doctor and his wife had been killed noted striking similarities between the stab wounds on the right side of the victims' necks and those inflicted on an 11-year-old boy and a housekeeper slain five years earlier.

That detail was contained in an arrest affidavit unsealed Thursday in the case against Dr. Anthony Garcia, 40, who is charged with first-degree murder and weapons counts in the Mother's Day slayings of Roger Allan Brumback, 65, a Gateway High School graduate, and his wife, Mary Helen Brumback, 65, a Bethel Park High School graduate. Garcia's attorneys said he denies the charges.

Police soon discovered it wasn't just the stab wounds that linked the victims.

Brumback was the chairman of the Creighton University School of Medicine's pathology department. The boy stabbed to death five years earlier in a nearby neighborhood was the son of Dr. William Hunter, a professor who worked closely with Brumback in the same department.

That connection led police to research those associated with the department, uncovering another eye-opener — that Hunter and Brumback had fired Garcia from the university's pathology residence program for “unprofessional conduct” in 2001.

Nebraska prosecutors say Garcia, who was arrested Monday in Illinois, shot and stabbed Brumback and fatally stabbed his wife.

Garcia is also charged in the stabbing deaths of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and his family's housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman.

Documents to and from various medical schools and state medical licensing agencies show that Garcia left a New York residency program in 1999 to avoid disciplinary action, and that his applications for medical licenses in various states were rejected following his firing from Creighton. Police have cited those troubles as a likely motive for the killings.

According to documents that Brumback sent to Indiana medical licensing officials in January, he and Hunter fired Garcia for trying to sabotage another Creighton resident's efforts to complete his residency.

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