A Delaware woman fatally shot a woman she believed was her husband’s mistress before turning the gun on herself in what police say was a murder-suicide, PEOPLE confirms.
On Monday, 33-year-old Meredith Chapman was found dead in her Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, home after Jennair Gerardot, 49, broke into her home and fatally shot her for allegedly carrying out an affair with her husband, Mark Gerardot, according to a police press conference Tuesday.
Jennair Gerardot was also found dead of gunshot wound in the home.
Police recovered a series of text messages and emails by the killer, leading them to think she was motivated by revenge.
On the day of the shooting, Gerardot put on a wig and caught a train to Radnor from Delaware, where she and her husband lived.
Chapman lived alone and Gerardot broke into her home through the front door while she was at work. Before hiding in the home, Gerardot cleaned up the shards of glass from the broken front door to try to hide the fact that anyone was inside, police said.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
When Chapman got home later that night, Gerardot immediately open fire.
At 7 p.m., neighbors called police, who arrived on the scene minutes later to find Gerardot’s husband Mark outside in the driveway.
“My wife might be inside,” he told responding officers.
When they entered the brick home, officers found both women dead.
“You had a man who’s married who’s having an affair with this other woman. His wife knew that. This was a calculated attack,” Radnor Township Police Superintendent William Colarulo said at the press conference Tuesday. “She broke into the house. She was lying in wait, and then she shot herself. There were emails and text messages indicating what she planned to do.”
Mark Gerardot told police he was in the area because he and Chapman made dinner plans but she never showed. Worried, he went to check on her at home.
Chapman was separated from her husband Luke Chapman, a former Newark city councilman. She was recently named an assistant vice president at Villanova University and graduated from the University of Delaware, where Mark Gerardot briefly worked as a creative director, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Our hearts are broken by the devastating loss of our new colleague,” Villanova University spokesman Jonathan Gust told CBS News. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire university community are with her family, friends and colleagues during this extremely difficult time.”
Mark Gerardot could not be reached for comment.