Villanova VP one of two women killed in Radnor murder-suicide

Meredith Chapman murder-suicide

The bodies of two women were discovered Monday night after residents in Radnor Township reported gunshots and an unusual smell. Now, police are calling their deaths the result of an apparent murder-suicide.

Neighbors on the first blocks of Lowrys Lane, near Villanova University, called police at 7:05 p.m. Monday after hearing shots fired, reported.

One of the women killed was reportedly Meredith Chapman, a former communications official at the University of Delaware who had a recent failed run at Pennsylvania Senate. Multiple sources allegedly told Delaware Online that Chapman was one of the victims, however, police had not officially released the identities of the women as of noon Tuesday. Chapman recently started a new job as assistant vice president at Villanova University.

The Lowrys Lane home that contained the bodies was reportedly Champan’s residence. The News Journal reported that she had just moved into the house in the last week.

Police have not released details about the deaths. No motive has been released. 

“This is not what usually happens on this street,” neighbor Tom Dougherty told NBC Philly. “Nothing ever happens on this street.”

Since 2009, Chapman was the wife of Newark City Councilman Luke Chapman, who said earlier this year he wouldn’t seek a fourth term. In 2016, she ran against state Sen. Dave Sokola, D-Newark, but lost by just five percentage points.

Sokola released a statement after the deaths, saying he was “stunned” by Chapman’s death.

“…I’m deeply saddened to learn that such a promising young woman’s life has been cut so short. She was sharp, hardworking and motivated by a sincere desire to serve her community. She was bound for great things and it’s tragic for that light to go out so soon.”

Anyone seeking suicide prevention help can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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