Fire Investigation Points To Possible Suicide of University Professor - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

09/17/07-Tyler

Fire Investigation Points To Possible Suicide of University Professor

A man found dead in his burning home, Sunday morning, apparently committed suicide.  He was an assistant professor at The University of Texas at Tyler.

41-year-old Jeffrey Shenefelt was found in a back room of the burned home on Santa Fe Trail in Tyler, dead of an apparent self-inflicted wound. 

He was a mechanical engineering researcher at the university.

As for how the fire began, investigators are on the case. The fire started close to where Shenefelt was found, but just how it was sparked is unclear.

"There were no indications that an accelerant was used -- no flammable liquid or anything -- so until the investigation is complete, we don't really know how the fire started," said Capt. Jeff Akin of the Tyler Fire Department.

Shenefelt's body was sent to Dallas for an autopsy.  At this point in the investigation, no foul play is suspected.

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