Mortgage exec kills self, wife found dead

January 19, 2008 10:59:58 AM PST
A high-ranking executive of a collapsed subprime mortgage lender jumped to his death from the Delaware Memorial Bridge on Friday, shortly after his wife's body was found inside their Burlington County home, authorities said.

The deaths of Walter Buczynski, 59, and his wife, Marci, 37 - the parents of two boys - were being investigated as a murder-suicide, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said Evesham Township police went to the couple's home in the Marlton section of the township around noon after a male caller asked them to check on Marci Buczynski's welfare. Her body was found in a bedroom.

Authorities would not provide further details on her death, saying only that she was pronounced dead at the scene and that an autopsy would be performed sometime Saturday by the county medical examiner's office.

About 20 minutes after her body was found, officers from the Delaware River and Bay Authority Police Department received reports that a man - later identified as Walter Buczynski - had parked his car on the bridge and jumped from the span.

Crews continued to search for his body Friday night.

Bernardi said a motive for the murder-suicide was not immediately clear. The couple's children were being cared for by family members, Bernardi said.

Walter Buczynski was vice president of Columbia, Md.-based Fieldstone Mortgage, a high-flying subprime mortgage lender that made $5.5 billion in mortgage loans and employed about 1,000 people as late as 2006.

However, it has since filed for bankruptcy and now has less than 20 employees. The company had recently filed court papers seeking approval to pay about $1.1 million in bonuses that would be divided among Buczynski and other staffers so the company could wind down its lending operations and go out of business.

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