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Police: Slippery Rock man murdered his wife

| Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Slippery Rock man is in jail today, charged with murdering his newlywed wife and trying to cover up the crime by burning down her parents' house, state police in Mercer said.

Scott Dunn, 27, is charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and three counts of arson, in connection with the death of Brandon "Brandi" Dunn, 22. Her body was found Jan. 14 in the burned rubble of the Grove City house, police said.

Dunn turned himself in at the state police barracks in Mercer County yesterday morning, after he received a cell phone call telling him he was being charged in his wife's death, police said.

Scott Dunn's arrest caps a long, strange story that began when police discovered Brandi Dunn hadn't died in the fire that consumed her parents' home, but was killed before the fire started. An autopsy determined she died from a blow to the head.

Dunn initially told police he left before the fire started on that morning, but returned because he had forgotten his wallet. He said he saw an intruder attacking his wife, chased the man out of the house and then heard an explosion.

But Mercer County District Attorney James Epstein said that investigators found no evidence of an intruder. State police said in January that the fire was intentionally set.

Dunn's death is the first homicide in Grove City in more than 40 years.

Brandi Dunn's parents, John and Debra Montgomery, were away for the winter, and she and Scott Dunn were house-sitting.

Brandi and Scott Dunn were married in July.

According to WTAE-TV, both Scott and Brandi Dunn had Web pages on Myspace.com, an online social site. The station reported that the day before she was killed, Brandi Dunn posted a message on her site: "I know you are still mad at me, but I still love you. I'm sorry, baby."

The day after her body was found, Scott Dunn posted a message to his wife, according to the station. "You meant the world to me and now you're gone," the posting read.

Dunn is being held without bond in Mercer County Jail. His attorney, Stephen Misko, did not return a phone call seeking comment this morning.

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