Local News

Boychuk Autopsy Points to Murder

Posted February 17, 1996 6:00 a.m. EST

— February 18, 1996, 8:50 a.m. EST

An autopsy report indicates that the Cary woman who died New Year's Eve had received four blows that fractured her skull, and that those blows came after she fell from a bridge.

It is not clear whether 31-year-old Karen Boychuk was pushed from the bridge or what struck her.

In January, police arrested her husband, William James Boychuk, on a murder charge after he was indicted by a grand jury. Mrs. Boychuk had been found dead along a greenway path that runs by a bridge over Cary Parkway. Mrs. Boychuk was clutching hair that police said might belong to her husband.

He has said they were victims of a hit-and-run driver during their walk on the fog-shrouded New Year's Eve, and that the force of the impact tumbled his wife over the 45-foot high bridge. Boychuk said he wandered in a daze for two hours before returning to the apartments where they lived and getting help from neighbors, who subsequently found her body.

In his report, pathologist Gordon LeGrand said that the four lacerations on her head don't fit with a fall and then pitching forward on her face.

Police suspected foul play from the start because it was clear she had been hit in the head, as well as badly hurt by the fall.

Neighbors told police the couple fought frequently. They had married in July 1995 after dating a few months. One neighbor told police she heard a woman scream about the time the Boychuks were out walking.

Mrs. Boychuk was four months pregnant at the time of her death. She was a lawyer who grew up in Wilson. Her husband, 33 at the time of his wife's death, was a graduate student in the UNC-Chapel Hill business school. He is being held without bond at Wake County Jail, and could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder