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Mystery surrounds murder of radio anchor and brutal attack on his family


Jim Matthews was found dead at his home in Detroit Photo: WWJ-AM

Jim Matthews was found dead at his home in Detroit Photo: WWJ-AM

Jim Matthews was found dead at his home in Detroit Photo: WWJ-AM

A Detroit radio news anchor was killed on Friday and four others, including two minors, were grievously injured in a domestic dispute.

Jim Matthews, the overnight news anchor at WWJ-AM radio station for nearly seven years, died in the attack, while his 35-year-old girlfriend suffered multiple stabbing injuries, said Chesterfield Township Public Safety director Brian Bassett.

A 10-year-old boy was found tied up in a closet with trauma to his head and a five-year-old girl also was injured in the attack.

The boy is hospitalised in a critical condition, authorities said.

A suspect — a 54-year-old man — was also hospitalised after he tried to kill himself following the attack, police said.

According to police, witnesses described a woman holding a small child running from the house “covered in blood".

After escaping the assault with her daughter around noon, the woman signalled a driver to call 911.

When the police responded to the scene, the officers found Matthews dead and the boy bound in a closet with blunt force trauma injuries.

It wasn’t clear how Matthews was killed as the officers said there were no guns involved in the assault.

They later found the suspect in the basement with self-inflicted wounds and an apparent overdose.

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“Our investigation has determined this is an isolated tragedy that does not present a danger to our community at this time,” Mr Basset said, without providing details on the nature of the attack or why the boy was tied up.

The officer added that the suspect was known to the victims and was welcomed into the home earlier in the morning, although the man’s relationship with the family was yet to be established.

Joe Nicolai, the brother of the victim, said the violence that ensued in the house was “not even something you’d see in a horror movie”.

Mr Nicolai said that his brother’s girlfriend was “laying out in the parking lot and was duck-taped and bleeding”.

“There is no motive, I don’t know why he was in the house. I talked to the lead investigator, and my brother probably came home to this,” Mr Nicolai told 7 Action News.

He continued: “He [Jim Matthews] comes home about 5.30am in the morning and was probably surprised and attacked, and I believe that [the boy] was trying to fight off this man that was attacking and trying to kill his father, and that’s how [the boy] ended up injured and tied and put into a closet.”

Ashley Quigley, who was identified as their aunt, said in a GoFundMe post that the boy had to undergo brain and ear surgery.

"He has come through both successfully. He is still currently sedated and is staying in the Pediatric ICU," she wrote.

Ms Quigley added: “I and my husband are taking care of my niece and advocated for my nephew as he goes through the biggest challenge he has yet to face; recovering from a vicious, needless attack.”

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