Vigil held for University of Arizona PhD candidate killed by her boyfriend

Vigil held for victim of murder-suicide

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Family, friends and colleagues gathered to remember a University of Arizona doctoral student whose studies were cut short by domestic violence.

Genevieve Comeau was found dead at a home on East Hendrick Drive Tuesday, March 5. The body of her boyfriend, Ethan Lindauer, was also found in the home.

The Tucson Police Department said Lindauer shot Comeau before turning the gun on himself. As of Friday, March 15, authorities believe the gun was legally obtained.

“It’s such a tragedy to find out someone so brilliant and friendly and loving has been taken," said Marueen Brophy, a Ph.D. candidate who worked alongside Comeau.

Comaeu, almost done with her program, studied the Zika virus and how it was transmitted in mosquitoes. She was described Thursday night as an amazing scientist, creative spirit and supportive friend.

“There’s been an eerie silence within every lab in the department. She really had an affect not only in the lab she worked, but everyone she came in contact with," said Brophy.

The University of Arizona released this statement on behalf of Comeau’s family:

"We are stunned and shocked by Genevieve’s sudden, violent death. But mostly we are heartbroken and sad beyond belief.

Gen was an adventurous soul who loved to travel and share her laughter with friends as well as her amazement with the physical world. She was a Phd candidate at University of Arizona and had nearly completed her work there. She found bugs fascinating and worked hard to extend the world’s understanding of mosquitoes and their interaction with the Zika virus.

The world has lost an excited and determined young scientist.

We do not know why Ethan would ever harm Genevieve- and may never understand why it happened.

Thank you to the many friends who have comforted us.

Thank you also to her friends and instructors at the University of Arizona who will help us honor her memory."

“Her legacy will live on forever, because she had such a brilliant impact on the world," said Brophy.

Brophy said she didn’t know Comeau’s boyfriend. She said there were no ‘warning signs’ that she may be involved in relationship with domestic violence.

“No, not at all. She was always cherry and friendly. I had no idea something like this could happen to her," Brophy said.

Officer Francisco Magos with the Tucson Police Department said those warning signs are often silent.

“A lot of times with domestic violence, we find it is excused or denied," said Magos. "But really, domestic violence can happen to anyone.”

If you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship or situation, there is help available.

Last year, the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse received 5,852 calls to its 24-hour multilingual hotline (520-795-4266).

Staff members can provide help to create an individualized safety plan and to help callers understand their options for getting help at Emerge and through other community resources.

In 2018, Emerge! served 5,831 participants, while providing 28,621 shelter nights to survivors and their children.

- Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse: 1-888-428-0101

- Emerge! 24-Hour Bilingual Crisis Line and Shelter: (520) 795-4266

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.