Retired BYU professor slain in robbery at Payson home

By many accounts, Kay Sherman Mortensen was an intelligent man who lived a rich life and had a strong sense of right and wrong.

So there are many questions surrounding the 70-year-old retired Brigham Young University professor's violent death Monday night during a robbery at his home. But police have disclosed few details and refused to confirm or deny others.

..."Knives were involved," Cannon said, but he could not confirm dispatchers' early reports that the victim's throat had been cut. Authorities would not identify the other people in the home or say why they were there.

...Mortensen was a mechanical engineering professor at BYU who retired about five years ago, said Tim McLain, chairman of BYU's mechanical engineering department.

"Kay was unique," McLain said. "He was full of stories and had a some rich life experiences he liked to share with students."

Last month, Mortensen and his wife finished an 18-month LDS mission at Cove Fort, 24 miles north of Beaver in Millard County. He wrote in the fort's yearbook that he was born in Ephraim, was the oldest of five children and worked on his parents' sheep farm. He went on to become a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves and earn a doctorate degree in engineering from the University of Utah. He worked at BYU for 37 years.

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