Boyfriend charged in suspicious death of University of Georgia professor

The boyfriend of a University of Georgia professor was charged with her murder after she was found dead near a hot tub at the home of a man who later fatally shot himself to death, officials said Monday.

Entomology professor Marianne Shockley, 42, and her boyfriend, Marcus Lillard were at the home of Clark Heindel early Sunday morning, when the men called 911 to say Shockley had drowned in the hot tub, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

When police arrived, they found all three people naked, and Heindel, 69, performing CPR on the professor, who was lying on the pool deck and bleeding heavily from her head, said Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The boyfriend, Lillard, allegedly said he’d been out gathering firewood and when he got back, noticed Shockley “passed out” in the hot tub. While moving her, he said she fell, hurting her head. Meanwhile, Heindel said he’d been swimming on the other side of the pool.

The men performed CPR and waited 45 minutes to call 911, because “she appeared to be breathing faintly,” they allegedly told cops.

Deputies split the men up to interview them. That’s when Heindel went back inside the house and shot himself dead, cops said.

A preliminary autopsy by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found that Shockley was strangled.

Lillard was charged with murder by strangulation, concealing a death and aggravated assault. He remains at the Baldwin County Jail without bond.

“It’s one of the strangest cases that we’ve ever worked … it was just sort of a bizarre type of case,” Massee said.

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