Jason Wray was a physician assistant at UW Health who murdered his wife, Jessica Wray, before taking his own life by stepping in front of a semi truck on a freeway in the Madison, Wisconsin area.
The couple’s names were released in a press release from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office. Jessica Dean Wray was also a physician assistant at UW Health.
People filled a GoFundMe page to help the couple’s children with tributes to Jessica Wray: “Jessica’s competent and compassionate help has completely transformed my health and life, so much for the better,” wrote one person on this page.
“I’m eternally grateful for her influence on me and I’m sure there are many others in our community. An appt with her has always been like a great visit to a close friend over many years. It seemed like she had all the time in the world to help me every time I saw her.”
Here’s what you need to know:
In the emailed press release to Heavy, the coroner’s office reported that Jessica Wray was both punched and suffered “sharp violent trauma.” What was the cause of death?
“Preliminary autopsy results confirm that Mrs. Wray died of homicidal violence, including blunt trauma and sharp trauma. Additional testing is also currently underway,” the medical examiner’s office wrote.
Jason Wray was hit by a semi truck on the interstate. “Mr. Wray died as a result of the accident,” the coroner’s dismissal read.
Both Wrays were 45 years old.
Madison Police Department called Jessica Wray’s death on September 12, 2022 a “domestic homicide.” The suspect is the husband of the deceased woman, police chief Shon Barnes said at a press conference. “We are investigating this incident as a murder-suicide.”
He said Jason Wray was spotted walking at the beltline where he was hit by a vehicle and not seriously injured. He then left the belt line in a vehicle and reappeared on Interstate 90, where he “walked out of his vehicle and walked in front of a semi truck,” Barnes said. He had died at the crime scene.
“We have lost another member of our community, this time to domestic violence,” the police chief said of Jessica Wray.
“We are committed to helping survivors of domestic violence,” he said.
At approximately 3:20 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, September 11, 2022, officers responded to an address along Darien Circle.
Police received 911 calls about a “person reported deceased” from third parties who were not at the scene.
Barnes said police had not received any prior calls to the couple’s home. “None of the individuals were known to the police,” he said.
When police entered the home, they found “a deceased woman in her 40s.” They said the victim was “violently physically assaulted.”
More than $80,000 was raised through a GoFundMe page to help the family’s three children.
“Our immediate goal is to pull together as a community to help with funeral expenses. We would love to be able to raise additional funds to support the children in a variety of ways.” “These children are surrounded by so much love, but growing up after the loss of both parents will require much more. Please help wherever you can. Every little helps.”
The site continues, “I organized this fund with my husband and other neighbors. The money will be transferred directly to the legal guardians.”
On Facebook, Jessica Wray filled her page with pictures of her children.
Honors flowed to Jessica Wray. “Jessica was such an amazing PA,” wrote one person in the GoFundMe page’s comments thread.
“It was clear from how carefully she listened to my concerns that she genuinely cared about her patients and what she was doing. My thoughts are with these children and their families at this difficult time.”
Another commenter noted, “Jessica was my assistant and changed my life. I will think of her family and hope for strength during this time.”
Another person wrote: “We lived behind Jessica’s house and our daughter loved to go over to her house to play with the kids. We loved it when the kids went in and out of our house or theirs. My husband and I called the pack of children on our street wild hustle and bustle. I am so sorry for the loss of such a kind person and my thoughts are with her family and beautiful children.”
Jason Wray filled his page with pictures of their kids, him running and fishing. “I have found that getting through a two and a half year old can be very difficult,” he wrote in one post. In 2011 he wrote: “Home all day alone with both kids jess back to work. should be interesting.”
That same year he wrote: “Happy Father’s Day everyone. My wonderful wife bought us tickets to the Colorado Rockies so we could go to the game.”