'Sweet' university professor Gowun Park arrested for husband's murder

Gowun Park has been charged with her husband's murder.
Gowun Park has been charged with her husband's murder. Photo credit: West Des Moines Police Department/Facebook

An American university professor cancelled classes because of a "personal issue" three days before she was arrested for murdering her husband.

Gowun Park, an associate professor of economics at Simpson College in Iowa, is now being held in custody.

Park's husband Sung Nam's body was found by police on February 15 bound and gagged to a chair in the couple's Des Moines home.

The Des Moines Register reported court documents said Nam's hands and feet were bound together using zip ties and he was then tied with a rope to his chair.

He was found with clothing in his mouth, duct tape over the top, and a towel taped over his head so that he couldn't see.

It is believed Nam had been bound to the chair since 10:30am to 11am that morning before becoming "distressed" at 5:05pm. He was found unresponsive at 6:50pm by police.

Park emailed students to let them know she couldn't attend the week's classes and postponed a midterm exam on February 16.

On February 19 Park was arrested for first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping of her husband, ABC News reported.

Police did not say why they thought Park had murdered Nam.

She is now being held at Dallas County Jail.

Simpson College spokesperson Christie Denniston told Des Moines Register in a statement that Park had been suspended and the school would be working with authorities. She had been working at the liberal arts college since 2017.

One of Park's students, a third-year economics student Thomas Mussig, told Des Moines Register he was surprised by his advisor's arrest.

"She was one of the sweetest ladies I've ever known," he said. "This is really tough."