Stab Wounds Killed NSU Professor: Autopsy

Police have "person of interest" in murder of Dr. Joseph Morrissey

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Apr 8, 2010  |  Updated 1:37 PM EDT
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Husband Killed, Plantation Family Terrorized by Robber

Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Joseph Morrissey

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Husband Killed, Plantation Family Terrorized by Robber

A husband is killed and a mother and her child barely escape as the house is set on fire by a robber in Plantation.
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The Nova Southeastern professor who was murdered in a terrifying home invasion this week died from stab wounds, not gunshot wounds, an autopsy revealed.

The results of the autopsy were released today by Plantation police, who said they have a "person of interest" in the murder of Dr. Joseph Morrissey.

It was initially reported that Morrissey died from gunshot wounds in the deadly robbery, but the results of the autopsy showed that he suffered puncture wounds consistent with a stabbing.

Police said the robber had a handgun during the robbery, and though neighbors reported hearing gunshots, Morrissey died from stab wounds.

The deadly incident happened on the 600 block of NW 75th Terrace in Plantation when a man broke into the home as the Morrissey family slept Tuesday morning.

The robber tied up Morrissey and his wife, Linda, while their 5-year-old child was sleeping in a nearby room, police said. 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. Neighbors said she frantically knocked on doors for help before calling 911.

She and the couple's young child weren't seriously injured.

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

Plantation police also said they have a person of interest in the case, but no charges have been filed yet. The person of interest was picked up at the Beverly Hills Cafe in Plantation yesterday. 

Police aren't releasing the identity of the person of interest at this time.

Morrissey, 46, 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.

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