A New Hampshire science writer died late Friday night.

NORWICH, Conn. (AP) – Police are investigating the killing of a New Hampshire science writer who championed cold fusion.

Eugene Mallove, 56, of Pembroke, N.H., died late Friday night after being assaulted at a house owned by his parents, police said. The family rented out the house.

Mallove died of injuries to his head and neck, the Norwich Bulletin reported Sunday. The office of the chief state’s medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

Mallove was discovered at the house after police received a report of an injured person. An initial investigation indicated a robbery and a fight had taken place, police said. Several unidentified items were taken and Mallove’s minivan was missing.

His 1993 green Dodge Caravan was found early Saturday in an employee parking lot at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket. Police were looking for anyone who saw the minivan after 7 p.m. Friday. It had several large bumper stickers on the back, including one advertising his magazine’s Web site: www.infinite-energy.com.

Mallove, who moved from Norwich to Bow, N.H., in 1987 and to Pembroke three years ago, was president of the Concord, N.H.-based New Energy Institute and editor-in-chief of its magazine, “Infinite Energy.”

The magazine’s managing editor, who worked with him for six years, called Mallove the “most caring and giving person I probably have ever known – a very successful, brilliant man.”

“It’s hard not to love the things he loves because he’s so passionate,” Christy Frazier said. “He touched the lives of everybody he came in contact with.”

Mallove, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Harvard University, was chief science writer at the MIT news office until he left to champion cold fusion. He also taught science writing at MIT and Boston University.

He was the author of several books, including one on cold fusion that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize: “Fire and Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor.”

Mallove believed the infamous Pons and Fleishmann announcement in 1989 that they created nuclear fusion by running an electrical current through a jar of water was not “voodoo science,” but a glimpse into an interesting topic worth investigating.

That belief was partly vindicated earlier this year when the U.S. Department of Energy ordered a panel of scientists to review existing research on cold fusion to see whether it is worth pursuing.

“They are now going to do the right thing. It’s over 10 years late, no doubt about that, (and) should have been reviewed a long time ago … but this is a breakthrough,” Mallove said in a recent interview with The Telegraph of Nashua, N.H.

“There is a huge body of positive evidence” for low-energy nuclear reactions, he said. “We have measured tritium (a byproduct of fusion), measured heat multiple ways. … There are thousands of papers, hundreds of which are bulletproof.”

Mallove’s parents, Mitchel and Gladys Mallove, followed him to New Hampshire in 1988. His father died last year after a long illness, but he was still caring for his mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, Frazier said.

He also was survived by his wife, Joanne; a daughter, Kimberlyn; a son, Ethan; and one grandson.

AP-ES-05-16-04 1532EDT

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