Murder victim identified as missing Nevada professor
Associated Press Writer
PARKS, Nev. (AP) ” A body found in rural northeastern Nevada has been positively identified as that of a missing University of Nevada, Reno professor, and a family friend has been targeted as the suspect in her death, police said Saturday.
Sparks Police Cmdr. Steve Asher said an investigation and autopsy revealed 64-year-old Judy Calder, a resident of Incline Village and an associate professor in UNR’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, was stabbed to death Aug. 18 at the Reno business Imaging Technologies.
Investigators think her body then was driven to Elko County, where it was found Tuesday along old Highway 93, about 375 miles northeast of Reno.
One of the owners of the Reno business, Ricky Barge, 50, was identified as the suspect. Asher said Calder and her family were friends and business associates of Barge, but police were unsure of the exact nature of the relationship.
Investigators now are trying to determine the true identity of Barge, whose name was an apparent alias, he added.
“The family is in a period of grieving and going through a hard time,” Asher said. “We just need to locate this individual and do our job on that end.”
Asher declined to comment on a possible motive for the killing. He also said authorities were unsure whether the suspect was still in the Reno area.
According to a university Web site, Calder specialized in family and domestic violence, as well as research methods. She taught “Introduction to Research” and “Issues in Family Health” classes. She received doctor of education, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from UCLA between 1967 and 1977.
“Judy was a longtime faculty member at the university, and was a good friend to her colleagues and students,” UNR President Milton Glick said. “I am saddened beyond words to hear of this tragic news. On behalf of the entire university, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Judy’s family.”
Calder had lived with her husband, James, in Incline Village on Lake Tahoe’s north shore for more than 30 years and they raised their three daughters there. In an earlier interview, James Calder described her as an “outgoing, enthusiastic, likable person.”
She was staying at John Ascuaga’s Nugget hotel-casino in Sparks the weekend she disappeared.
Police said Calder was seen leaving the Nugget around 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 18, and that she was seen by another faculty member on campus that day between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Asher declined to comment on the time of her death.
Calder’s car was found near the university Aug. 19. Police said a person described as a dark-skinned male may have been seen driving it earlier that day.
Asher said the suspect was of Middle Eastern descent.
A phone call to Imaging Technologies was not returned Saturday.
Glick said a campus memorial service for Judy will be held soon, but no date has been determined yet.
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