Police said yesterday they believe a former Olympic athlete killed his neurosurgeon wife before jumping to his death from a 10th-story dormitory window in Little Rock.

Investigators identified the man as Robert Howard, a University of Arkansas medical student who competed in track and field in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, said medical school police Capt. Bryan Patterson.

Leslie Taylor, a spokeswoman for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said campus police received a call early Saturday from someone concerned about a medical student.

Police arrived at the dormitory room and tried to talk to the man, but he jumped out of the window about 20 minutes later, Patterson said.

Later that morning, investigators went to a private residence and found the student's wife, Robin Mitchell, stabbed to death. Mitchell was chief resident of neurosurgery at the medical school.

"There is evidence that the student killed his wife," Little Rock police said in a news release.

Howard finished eighth in the triple jump at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and seventh at the 2000 Games in Sydney. The former all-American and NCAA champion, who competed for Arkansas from 1994 to '98, took last year off from medical school in an unsuccessful bid to make the Olympic team this year.

-- From News Services