Police Search for a Vehicle of Interest into the Murder of FSU Professor

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TALLAHASSEE-- Police in Tallahassee are looking for the owners of a "vehicle of interest" in their investigation into the murder of a Florida State University professor.

Tallahassee police said the car caught on security video looked like a Toyota Prius and was in the area of Dan Markel's home around the time he was murdered. Markel was a law professor at Florida State University and police said he was targeted.

The 42 year old father of two young boys was killed at his home last Friday. Markel died from a gunshot to the head. Police stress that the owners of the vehicle they are looking for are not suspects.

Tallahassee police officer, David Northway said, "It is not a suspect vehicle. It is simply a vehicle of interest, meaning it was there. Trescott Drive is a very heavily walked area, and also driven area. It's a cut-through of sorts, so we're hoping that the people inside of that vehicle could be a witness for us. It is simply a vehicle that we would like to speak to the owners of, and that's why we're asking people to call our tipline."

Police are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest. If you have any information please call detectives at (850) 891-4462.

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JULY 21, 2014-

Renowned law professor Dan Markel was gunned down in his home Friday. Attorney and neighbor Reggie Garcia says the world lost a great man.

"He was just a fun laid back guy, I mean not a lot of my professors brought me baked goods from their favorite deli in New York. You'll certainly hear this directly from the students but they loved him," Garcia said.

Markel was apparently shot in broad daylight around 11 a.m. Friday. The Toronto native and Harvard graduate later died from his injuries. Police are saying this wasn't a random act of violence.

"We believe he was the intended victim in this case. Targeted is a hard word for us, again, we have to make sure that we leave all of our avenues open, but we are doing everything we can to bring this case to a close for the Markel family and for Mr. Markel himself," Dave Northway of the Tallahassee Police Department said.

Looking for any piece of information that could be helpful, police started canvassing the neighborhood around Markel's house.

Police went door to door asking neighbors about any information they had. Jill Harper summed up the mood of the community.

"Fear, there have been some car break ins and home break ins," Harper said.

Markel was a father to two young sons and was going through a divorce at the same time he was murdered. Police wouldn't say if his estranged wife, also a distinguished academic, had been questioned.

"I cannot give the details of who we're interviewing what we're interviewing."

Markel joined FSU in 2005. He primarily taught criminal law to hundreds of students from around the state.

Markel had been a prominent law writer and blogger around the state and country. His work has appeared in the New York Times and the Atlantic and Slate magazines.


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