Retired U-M chemistry professor found dead in suspected murder

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 10:12am

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The Ann Arbor Police Department is investigating the suspected homicide of Robert Sharp, a 76-year-old retired University of Michigan professor. The victim was found dead Monday night in the basement of his house on Alpine Drive. Sharp’s death, which police believe involved foul play, happened at some point between Sunday and Monday. Police arrived after Sharp failed to appear at a community meeting, concerning other residents of his housing complex.

Sharp retired from U-M faculty after teaching in the chemistry department for 39 years. He earned his doctorate from Case Western Reserve, studying Multidimensional and Multiquantum NMR of Paramagnetic Systems, and completed his postdoc at Oxford University before starting at the University of Michigan in 1969.

Over the course of his career, Sharp researched and published numerous papers on the paramagnetic behavior of electrons in NMR spectroscopy. Most recently, his team focused on using oriented polyacrylic gels to map electron spin. The victim’s son, David Sharp, told MLive his father was passionate about learning.

“He knew so much about so many things that you could talk to him for hours and continually learn something new,” Sharp said.

Police have not made any arrests yet, but they are actively looking into the crime. The Ann Arbor Police Department tip line can be reached at 734-794-6939 or tips@a2gov.org.

This is a developing story. Please check back at michigandaily.com for more information.

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