NSU Professor's Murder Not Random: Police

Lawyer IDs "person of interest," who has connection to slain instructor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nova Southeastern University
    Dr. Joseph Morrissey

    The investigation into the murder of Nova Southeastern professor Dr. Joseph Morrissey during a robbery in his Plantation home is narrowing, as police rule out the possibility that it was a random act and continue to look into their "person of interest."

    Late yesterday, a defense attorney came forward to identify the person of interest as 21-year-old Randy Tundidor, though police have yet to confirm his identity.

    According to attorney Jim Lewis, Tundidor was the man arrested at the Beverly Hills Cafe in Plantation on Wednesday, and police questioned him about the Morrissey murder that night.

    Tundidor was arrested for a probation violation, and was not charged with any crime. He has been cooperating with police, Lewis said.

    Husband Killed, Plantation Family Terrorized by Robber

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    A husband is killed and a mother and her child barely escape as the house is set on fire by a robber in Plantation.

    Lewis also said that police served a search warrant on Thursday on Tundidor's father's business, Gator Tint and Sound.

    In an odd twist, Tundidor's father, Randy Tundidor Sr., was Morrissey's tenant.

    Meanwhile, Plantation Police said Thursday that they're pretty sure the Tuesday robbery and murder at the Morrissey house was not random, and there's a possibility that more than one person was involved.

    "Due to the way the investigation is progressing, we believe that this is not a random act of violence, that this home was specifically targeted," said Plantation Police spokesman Robert Rettig.

    When asked about other possible suspects, Rettig said, "That is possible, we're not ruling that out."

    Morrissey, 46, was killed early Tuesday morning during the robbery at his home on the 600 block of NW 75th Terrace in Plantation.

    Police said the robber broke into the Morrissey home as the family was sleeping and tied up Morrissey and his wife, Linda, while their 5-year-old child was sleeping in a nearby room. The robber killed Morrissey and set the house on fire before fleeing.

    Police said Morrissey's wife was able to free herself and escaped the burning home with her child. Morrissey's body was found by first responders on the home's back porch.

    Autopsy results released Thursday showed Morrissey died from stab wounds, not gunshot wounds as was previously reported.

    Police also confirmed Thursday that the killer took the couple to a nearby ATM and forced them to withdraw cash during the robbery.

    A day after the deadly robbery, Tundidor was picked up by police at the cafe. Witnesses said over a dozen SWAT members stormed the cafe to apprehend Tundidor.

    Morrissey received his PHD from Stanford and did his postdoctoral training at the University of Miami. A senior scientist at Motorola for over 12 years, Morrissey joined Nova in May of 2009.

    Anyone with information of the Morrissey murder is asked to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.