FARMINGTON, Conn. – The University of Connecticut announced Thursday that it has recovered more than $50,000 it paid to a slain researcher while it believed he was working from home.
Police checking on the welfare of Dr. Pierluigi Bigazzi, a professor of laboratory science and pathology at UConn Health, found his body on Feb. 5 wrapped in plastic inside the house he shared with his wife.
The university said Linda Kosuda Bigazzi, who has been charged with murder but says it was self-defense, has returned $50,040.85 paid to her husband between Aug. 4 and Jan. 18. The date of the 84-year-old doctor's death has not been released.
UConn said it would seek further reimbursement if it is determined that Dr. Bigazzi, who police say was beaten to death, died earlier.
The university did not suspect anything was wrong until February even though months had passed without Bigazzi appearing on campus or responding to phone calls or emails. Bigazzi last taught a course during the 2017 spring semester and was supposed to be working on projects that included updating the medical school's curriculum and academic instructional materials.
UConn released a spreadsheet, requested by President Susan Herbst, that gives an accounting of all full-time faculty members at UConn Health, including where they are working, what they are doing and when they were last contacted.
Herbst also sent a memo to UConn Health deans and department heads reminding them of their duty to monitor the productivity of the faculty members and to make sure their work is meeting the university's standards.
"We expect that each of you will always know where your faculty members are working and what type of work they are engaged in," she said.
The doctor's wife, a 70-year-old scientist, worked with him. She wrote in a journal that the killing was self-defense, according to an arrest warrant.