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Omaha police exploring possible link in two double homicides

By Katie Schubert

OMAHA (Reuters) - Investigators in Omaha are looking at whether the murders discovered last week of a doctor and his wife are connected to the unsolved 2008 murders of a young boy and his family's housekeeper, police said on Monday.

Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary, both 65, were found murdered last Tuesday in their west Omaha home. Brumback was a professor at Creighton University School of Medicine and a doctor with Alegent Creighton Health.

In March 2008, 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and 57-year-old Shirlee Sherman, the Hunter family's housekeeper, were stabbed to death at Hunter's home. Hunter's parents are both doctors at Alegent, and Dr. William Hunter was a colleague of Dr. Brumback in the pathology department.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said on Monday that the police have formed a task force that includes the department's "cold case" unit, the Douglas County Attorney's office, State Patrol, and the FBI to investigate the four murders.

Schmaderer says the Task Force will pursue all leads in both cases, including whether the two cases are connected. He said the task force was formed several days ago and has made some possible progress.

No additional information was released about the Brumback murders, including cause of death or a possible motive.

According to the Creighton University web site, Brumback had just announced his retirement from Creighton and was headed to West Virginia in June. He was known for his work on Alzheimer's disease and had written many articles and books, including two for family caregivers of those with Alzheimer's.

His colleagues described him as a "perfectionist" who was very popular with students and other faculty.

(Reporting by Katie Shubert; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Greg McCune and Tim Dobbyn)

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