Charge filed in death of Park professor

A Topeka, Kan. man has been charged with murder in the death of a Park University professor in the Bahamas in January.

Eric Newman, 53, was indicted in federal court Thursday, Sept. 6 for second-degree murder. He is charged in the Jan. 19 death of his wife, Tamara Tucker, 50, and was detained in Shawnee County, Kan. He is scheduled to again appear in court today (Sept. 12).

In January of this year, Newman and Tucker boarded a Carnival cruise ship — Elation — in Jacksonville, Fla. On the way to the Bahamas, Tucker fell two stories from a balcony to the deck several floors below and died. The Royal Bahamas Police investigated the case and later turned it over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to her obituary, Tucker died just two days after her 50th birthday. She had been a professor of social work at Park University for the past 10 years and previously worked as program director for the Kansas City Child Abuse Prevention Association.

At the time of her death, Park University issued a statement on Twitter and Facebook, “The Park University family sends its thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Tamara Loraine Tucker.”

Born in Rolla, Mo., Tucker was living in Lawson, Mo. at the time of her death. She was a graduate of Avila University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Tucker is survived by her son and granddaughter. Newman was listed in her obituary as her “partner and long-time love.”

Eric Newman

Eric Newman