Police in Mobile say an economics professor at the University of South Alabama (USA) was found dead inside of his home from an apparent gunshot wound last week, but a suspect has yet to be identified.
The Mobile Police Department (MPD) identified Matthew Joseph Wiser as the victim of a homicide that occurred sometime between Nov. 19 and 3:55 p.m. on Nov. 20, when Wiser was found inside his home on Gaillard Road. Police are currently investigating his death as a murder, though little information has been released.
According to MPD, officers with the University of South Alabama Police Department were conducting a welfare check after Wiser’s absence was noticed by colleagues. According to USA officials, he was last seen teaching a late class the night before his body was found. MPD units were called to help investigate.
According to an MPD spokesperson, Wiser appeared to have been suffering from a gunshot wound, which is still believed to be the cause of his death. Police did not say whether there appeared to be any signs of forced entry or burglary. So far, no suspect(s) have been identified, but MPD’s investigation is ongoing.
Wiser was an assistant professor of economics and finance who joined USA’s staff in 2014. He specialized in the areas of game theory and mathematics. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Louisiana State University, according to a USA bio that has since been removed.
The day Wiser was identified as the victim by police, Dr. Kelly Woodford, associate dean of the Mitchell College of Business, described him as “a wonderful colleague” who would be “greatly missed” around USA’s campus.
“He was full of personality and well-liked by faculty and students. He was very quiet until you got to know him, and then he would come out of his shell. He was a very funny and very intelligent man,” Woodford said. “It has been very hard on us. We’re all shocked, obviously, and very, very sad.”
Woodford said all students and faculty had been notified by USA’s administration that counseling services were being made available for anyone struggling to process Wiser’s sudden death. More information about this case was be added at lagniappemobile.com as it becomes available.
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