Cell phone signal leads to discovery of Zinkhan’s red Jeep

By Calvin Palmer

The red Jeep belonging to a university professor suspected of killing his wife and two others has been found in a north Georgia ravine not far from his home in Athens.

George Zinkhan, 57, a professor in marketing at the University of Georgia, is accused of killing his wife, 47-year-old attorney Marie Bruce, and two members of her community theater group, Ben Teague, 63, and Tom Tanner, 40, in front of a theater in Athens.

Zinkhan was last seen driving away in the Jeep after dropping his children off with a neighbor.

The wrecked vehicle was found overnight “well off the beaten path” in a wooded area of Bogart, a rural community next to Athens, FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said today.

A possible motive for the killings has emerged after interviewing family and friends.

Jones said the shooting likely stemmed from some sort of domestic dispute between Zinkhan and Bruce. Authorities have some indication she was preparing to file for divorce, he said.

A signal emitted by one of Zinkhan’s cell phones was one of the things that led authorities to the Jeep.

Law enforcement official searched a 200-acre area near the ravine but found no trace of Zinkhan.

Jones said authorities were piecing together some leads from evidence in the Jeep, but declined to elaborate.

Earlier this week police revealed that Zinkhan had his passport and had purchased an airline ticket to Amsterdam on a flight due to leave tomorrow.

Zinkhan has taught part-time at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in the Netherlands since April 2007.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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