Prosecutor: Husband bought drugs, bleached home after brutally murdering Lynn teacher

CHELSEA, Mass. (WHDH) – A man accused of strangling and stabbing his wife to death pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail after prosecutors detailed the Lynn elementary school teacher’s gruesome murder.

Police arrested Andrew MacCormack, 29, Tuesday on charges he killed his 30-year-old wife, Vanessa. She was found dead Saturday afternoon inside their home on Grand View Avenue in Revere.

Officials said Vanessa MacCormack showed obvious signs of physical trauma when police officers found her body at around 3:30 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Prosecutors said she had been strangled and had a trash bag over her head.

“A trash bag appeared to be put on her head at some point in an apparent effort to catch the blood,” said prosecutor Ian Polumbaum.

The state’s chief medical examiner found that Vanessa MacCormack suffered a blunt force injury to the head, sharp force injuries to the neck and asphyxiation. Prosecutors said the killer “went to great lengths” in an effort cover up the crime.

After the murder, prosecutors said MacCormack left the house with the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, withdrew $100 from an ATM, bought cocaine in East Boston and then returned home, where he used bleach to wipe down the bloody crime scene before calling 911.

Investigators said MacCormack sent text messages to his wife’s phone after killing her, which he was in possession of. They said he suggested a missing kitchen knife had suddenly appeared at the crime scene.

The drug dealer known to police said MacCormack was spending $400 to $500 a week on cocaine. Police said on Aug. 31, Vanessa MacCormack texted her husband and said, “I hate you so much, you’ve ruined our daughter’s life because she won’t have her parents together. I’ll talk to an agent tomorrow about listing the house and I’ll look into divorce lawyers.” They said MacCormack responded, calling her crazy and saying, “I’m not signing anything to sell the house or get divorced.”

The defense disputed the accusations, saying the two were happy together.

Defense attorney John Hayes said his client did not commit the heinous crime and that the real killer is still on the loose.

MacCormack’s arrest followed the recovery of surveillance video, the execution of a search warrant, interviews with multiple witnesses, examination of phone and other records and other tips, according to investigators.

“Prosecutors and police detectives have worked literally around the clock since Saturday afternoon to solve Vanessa’s murder,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley. “The evidence suggests that her murder was a crime of domestic violence, committed in the very place where she should have been safest – her own home.”

MacCormack worked as a second grade teacher at Connery Elementary School in Lynn. Family members described MacCormack as the world’s best mother to her daughter, a loving wife and a devoted daughter and sister.

The defense requested that MacCormack’s bail be set at $50,000, citing no criminal record. The request was denied.

MacCormack is due back in court next month.

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