A Harford Community College official found dead in her bathtub this week had been strangled, and state troopers returning to the home to question her husband found him dead yesterday -- apparently by his own hand.
The murder victim, Theresa Deanne Daugherty, the 40-year-old director of records and registration at the college, was found dead about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday in the bathroom of the couple's home near Churchville in the 2500 block of Palmer View Drive.
"Her husband said he found her submerged in the bathtub," state police Sgt. Edwin Lashley said yesterday. "There were no obvious signs of trauma, but the autopsy results today showed the cause of her death was strangulation."
John Norman Daugherty, also 40, was found dead inside his car -- with its motor running in a closed garage -- about noon by troopers who planned to question him about his wife's death, Sergeant Lashley said.
The sergeant declined to say whether Mr. Daugherty had committed suicide before receiving autopsy results, but neighbors questioned by the police said they were told the deaths were believed to be a case of murder-suicide.
Mr. Daugherty was a data base administrator for the office of information management in the state Department of Human Resources in Baltimore. Neighbors said he was also a retired naval officer.
His wife had been director of records and registration at the college in Churchville -- about 10 miles east of Bel Air -- for the past seven years, and had worked there for more than 17 years, according to Gail Hawkins, who as dean of student services was Mrs. Daugherty's supervisor.
College co-workers were stunned to learn of Mrs. Daugherty's death on Wednesday, only to be shocked even more yesterday to find out she had been murdered.
"Deanne had made it through the ranks," Ms. Hawkins said of Mrs. Daugherty's rise in responsibility from secretary to registrar. She had earned her associate in arts degree at HCC, a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and her master's from Central Michigan University.
"She was zealous in her ability to get the job done and get it done well. She was an exemplary person." Ms. Hawkins said the Daughertys were married for about three years -- a second union for each.
The couple is survived by four children: Mrs. Daugherty's daughters, Ann Waite Bohdel and Marcie Lynn Waite, both of Bel Air, and her husband's sons, John Norman Daugherty III and William Richard Daugherty, both of Aberdeen.