Archive for Monday, November 17, 2003

Former colleagues shocked by attorney’s slaying

November 17, 2003


Carmin Ross-Murray left a good impression on those she knew and worked with, her colleagues in the Manhattan area say.

That's why the news that she had been found killed in her rural Douglas County home came as such a shock Sunday when some of those colleagues found out.

"That's sure sad," said Richard Seaton, attorney for Kansas State University, where Ross-Murray once worked as human relations director.

Ross-Murray's job at KSU sometimes called for her to be a mediator between employees and administrators.

"She was very sunny," Seaton said of Ross-Murray's disposition. "She was extremely good in her role as a mediator."

Riley County Atty. Bill Kennedy said he knew Ross-Murray as a fellow colleague of the Riley County Bar Assn.

"I thought she was a fine person," he said.

Douglas County Sheriff's officers continued to investigate Ross-Murray's death Sunday and an autopsy was still pending, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Friday afternoon sheriff's officers discovered Ross-Murray's body in her home near Lakeview Lake at 1860 E. 1150 Road. The sheriff's office had been asked to check on her after her fiance in California became concerned about her welfare. He had not been able to contact her for several hours, Douglas County Sheriff Rick Trapp said.

Investigators worked throughout the weekend combing the crime scene and surrounding grounds.

Trapp hasn't specifically described how Ross-Murray died but has called it a "crime of violence."

Investigators also were continuing to interview people and follow up on possible leads, both in Douglas County and elsewhere, Sheriff's Lt. Kathy Tate said. No new information was released Sunday.

Douglas County Coroner Dr. Erik Mitchell has worked with investigators at the crime scene and was to conduct the autopsy. An employee in his Topeka office said Sunday that Mitchell had been busy with several cases that day and she didn't know whether the autopsy had been completed.

Ross-Murray, a divorced mother, formerly lived in Manhattan and moved to the Douglas County house in August, Trapp said. Her 4-year-old daughter was staying with relatives at the time of the slaying, Trapp said.

Anyone who has information that might help investigators is asked to call detectives at 841-0007. To remain anonymous, call the Crime Stoppers hot line, 843-TIPS (8477). A reward of up to $1,000 is possible for information leading to an arrest.

KSU officials said Ross-Murray left the university in 1997 and became a self-employed conflict mediator. She led several seminars about mediation. She also was an attorney, but Trapp said he didn't think she had practiced law in Douglas County District Court.

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