Missing Professor's Husband Reacts

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

Before word came about the body that was found in Elko County, we spoke to Judy Calder's husband, Jim, about his hopes for her safe return.

Just minutes after we finished talking with Jim, the news broke about the body, fitting his wife's description. The last words he said to us were that he was hoping for closure, whether his wife was found dead or alive.

With no word from his wife in well over a week, Jim Calder still seemed strong. He and his family have been staying at his home in Incline Village, waiting on pins and needles, for any word on Judy. The couple made their home together on the lake for 30 years.

"She was my wife and a friend and I miss her," Calder said.

Even as Jim remembered the good times with his wife, he says he couldn't seem to shake thoughts about whether or not her disappearance was related to a brutal assault against her last summer. A masked man entered the couple's garage, and attempted to suffocate Judy Calder.

"The guy that was on top of her, trying to choke her said 'somebody wants you dead.' Those were Judy's words: 'someone from UNR wants you dead," Calder said.

Jim says the attack came shortly after a disagreement with one of Judy's UNR students over a plagiarized term paper.

Police never figured out who tried to kill her, and the attempted murder case remains unsolved. Her husband says the incident with the angry student has been the only thing weakening his hope.

"Logically yeah, logically sure. If you are looking for a motive, that's a conceivable motive. It kind of seems dumb over a grade, but people do strange things."

Jim says he's been seeing a grief counselor to help him deal with his wife's mysterious disappearance. He says he sometimes feels he's losing his mind, but picturing his wife, safe and alive, helps him cope.

"She's just a good person,” he said. “It shouldn't have happened to her."

It's very difficult time right now for the entire family, as they wait to find out whether or not the search for Judy is over. Once the body found in Wells is positively identified, they'll know for sure.

Police say they don't have any evidence to show that the two incidents are related, although many of Judy's colleagues, as well as her husband Jim, can't think of any other reason someone would want to hurt her.


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