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Professor Allegedly Slain By Father-In-Law In Murder-Suicide Remembered For 'Warmth And Kindness'

"It's hard to believe something like this would be happening here in Mer Rouge," Police Chief Melvin Holmes said after the alleged murder-suicide.

By Daniel Egitto

A professor at the University of Louisiana Monroe was killed on Sunday in a murder-suicide that was allegedly carried out by his father-in-law.

Joshua Comer, 39, was at a home in Mer Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday night when he apparently got into an altercation with his wife’s father, 68-year-old Jack Matthews, local outlet KLFY reported. At some point, Matthews appears to have fatally shot Comer before turning the gun on himself.

“We extend our heartfelt and deepest sympathies to [Comer’s] family and his many students and colleagues. Dr. Comer had a significant impact on his students and was a campus leader in communication technology. His enthusiasm, warmth and kindness will be greatly missed,” ULM tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Joshua Comer Twitter

Comer worked as a communications professor and a communications program director at the university, according to ULM’s student-run newspaper, The Hawkeye. He earned a Ph.D. in communication and rhetoric in 2015 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York and moved to Louisiana in 2017, according to his personal website.

Comer taught numerous classes on communication and journalism, and also received the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement while at Bowling Green State University as an undergrad, according to his ULM profile page.

He is survived by his wife, Cheyenne Comer, according to KLFY.

“It’s hard to believe that something like this would be happening here in Mer Rouge. We have a community of about 600 people … everybody knows everybody,” Police Chief Melvin Holmes told KNOE.

The bodies of Comer and Matthews have been sent to Little Rock, Arkansas for autopsies, according to the station. No funeral plans have yet been announced.

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