Charlotte, North Carolina residents are still searching for answers after a local man was arrested in connection with the murder of a beloved UNC Charlotte professor.
On September 5, Donny Franklin, 45, was formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jeannine Shante Skinner, a 35-year-old assistant professor of gerontology and psychology at the university.
Police found Skinner’s body in her apartment on Friday, September 1 after conducting a wellness check. The official cause of death is unknown, but authorities said they found “obvious trauma” when they discovered her at the scene, WBTV reports.
Authorities say Franklin and Skinner were in a relationship and believe the incident was a case of domestic violence. Not much is known about the couple’s relationship, but they may have first connected on social media.
Franklin, a father of two, was found by authorities after he initially went missing. At one point, police considered him to be armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal, according to WBTV.
In 2003, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault on a woman. The same year, authorities also dismissed a charge that he violated a protective order, The Charlotte Observer reports.
Skinner’s funeral will be held at a local church in Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, September 16.
Her friend’s and family say that she was a young woman full of promise, but her life was cut short too soon. UNC Charlotte’s chancellor Philip Dubois released a statement in regards to her death”
“We grieve for Jeannine’s family, and we hope that joyful memories of her life will sustain them in the days to come. I hope those of you who were her students and colleagues will remember Jeannine for her accomplishments and for the influence she had on your lives.”