Autopsy completed on Nobel-Prize winning Purdue University professor's wife

An Illinois coroner has completed an autopsy on a Nobel-Prize winning Purdue University professor's wife.

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 11:39 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2018 9:34 PM

ROCKFORD, IL. (WLFI) - An Illinois coroner has completed an autopsy on a Nobel-Prize winning Purdue University professor's wife.

Sumire Negishi and Ei-ichi Negishi were reported missing Monday night. Police later discovered Sumire was dead. However, many of the details of their disappearance are still a mystery.

The Ogle County Coroner's Office says that Sumire's autopsy shows that no foul play is suspected. However, it's still not clear what did happen.

Indiana State Police asked Purdue Police Monday night to check for the missing professor in his office located in the Wetherill Chemistry Building. Purdue Police Chief John Cox said they weren't able to find him anywhere on campus.

Early Tuesday morning, investigators said the 82-year-old professor was found wandering a rural road south of Rockford, Illinois. Police searched the area and found Sumire's body at the Orchard Hills Landfill, along with the couple's vehicle.

Sumire was battling Parkinson’s disease. Local authorities in Illinois are now leading the investigation.

According to a family statement, Sumire and Ei-ichi Negishi were on their way to the Rockford International Airport Monday night.
Ei-ichi was apparently suffering from an acute state of confusion and shock. He then started to look for help.

This statement was released from Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

“Purdue University and the world have lost a dear friend in the death of Sumire Negishi. Throughout a lifetime of love and loyalty, she supported her husband in a career of tremendous contributions to science and to the teaching and training of subsequent generations of top scientists.

It appears that the Parkinson’s disease from which she has been suffering and the mental confusion that age can bring to the most brilliant minds combined to produce the recent tragic events. That these phenomena are so common does not make their consequences any less cruel.

All Boilermakers everywhere join the Negishi family in sadness at the loss of Sumire, who made so many of her own contributions to her husband’s life work and to the vitality of our community.”

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