Publisher's note: This post, by Polizette Staff, was originally published in Civitas's online edition.
A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researcher who was "on the verge of making very significant" findings about COVID-19 was found shot to death over the weekend, a situation which authorities believe to be a murder-suicide.
Bing Liu, 37, was found dead in Ross Township, north of Pittsburgh, according to NBC News
. The Allegheny County medical examiner said that Liu had been shot in the head and neck. One hour after his body was found, the body of 46-year-old Hao Gu was found inside a car less than a mile from the home where Liu was discovered.
Police say that the two men knew each other, and they believe Gu killed Liu before returning to his vehicle and turning his gun on himself. The Ross Police Department released a statement today saying that they believe the deaths took place on Saturday after a "lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner."
"We have found zero evidence that this tragic event has anything to do with employment at the University of Pittsburgh, any work being conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and the current health crisis affecting the United States and the world,"
Ivet Bahar, head of the computational and system biology department in Pitt's School of Medicine, said that Liu had just started doing research into COVID-19.
"He [Liu] was just starting to obtain interesting results,"
she explained, according to The Blaze
. "He was sharing with us, trying to understand the mechanism of infection, so we will hopefully continue what he was doing."
The school of medicine also released a statement saying that Liu "was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications. We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence."
Liu's body was found by his wife, who was not home at the time of the murder. The couple had no children, and Behar described Liu as an only child whose parents live in China.