Local News

UNC professor arrested in Argentina

Posted March 20, 2012 5:02 p.m. EDT
Updated March 20, 2012 6:59 p.m. EDT

— A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor who traveled overseas for research has been arrested in Argentina, according to his ex-wife.

Details surrounding the arrest of Paul Frampton, a physics and astronomy professor, are unclear. UNC has not released many details.

Frampton's ex-wife, Anne Marie Frampton, told WRAL News on Tuesday that she believes the arrest is "drug related," but says she thinks "he is innocent."

Anne Marie Frampton says she last spoke with her ex-husband at the end of January. "He never touched drugs" in their 15 years of marriage, she said, adding that he is a "great scholar" and she hopes "he gets out all right."

David Eby, a graduate student working with Frampton, said he has recently had contact with the professor and believes in his innocence.

Paul Frampton's name was still on his office door at UNC Tuesday, but university officials said his salary was discontinued earlier this month. He was hired in 1981 and was making nearly $107,000 at the time of his arrest, according to UNC records.

UNC officials say a senior associate dean was in Buenos Aires on a scheduled work trip and met with a member of the Argentine judicial system earlier this month. The details of that meeting were not released.