Missing Nurse's Marine Husband Charged With Murder

John Wimunc was charged with murder after police found charred remains of wife.

ByABC News
July 14, 2008, 11:53 AM

July 14, 2008— -- A Marine arrested at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was charged today with murdering his estranged wife, an Army nurse who disappeared four days ago and whose charred remains police believe they found Sunday in a brush fire near the base.

Cpl. John Patrick Wimunc, 23, a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, was arrested around 4:30 p.m. Sunday and initially charged with arson for a fire that burned through Lt. Holley Wimunc's Fayetteville, N.C., apartment on Thursday, the day she went missing.

Police are awaiting a medical examiner's report to confirm publicly that the body found near Camp Lejeune, some 130 miles from Fayetteville, belonged to the nurse, but investigators said they have strong suspicions it is her and a family member said police had told them it was her.

Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine told reporters that investigators would need to conduct more tests to confirm the identity of the body, but hinted they suspected it was Wimunc.

Police said evidence suggested that the body had been first burned in the Fayetteville fire and was then brought to the outskirts of the base in an effort to further destroy the evidence.

"I can say with great certainty she was killed here in Fayetteville," Bergamine said.

Bergamine would not suggest a motive in the murder, though the couple was reportedly in the midst of a bitter divorce and Holley had procured a restraining order against her husband.

John Patrick Wimunc and codefendant Kyle Ryan Alden, 22, were arrested Sunday afternoon and initially charged with arson in relation to the Fayetteville apartment fire.

On Monday, police charged Wimunc with first degree murder and Alden with conspiracy to commit murder.

Police said the remains of the discovered woman were so badly burned she could not be identified by sight alone.

Though police said they must await official confirmation of the victim's identity to make a public statement, Holley Wimunc's father said in a statement this morning that police told him that his daughter's remains had been found.