Centerville Woman Kills Son, Self

9:00 AM, Mar 6, 2008   |    comments
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Police say a Centerville woman, 36-year-old Donne Marie Slonaker, shot her 10-year-old son in the back of the head and then turned the gun on herself in a Clayton County motel room. A motel manager found their bodies around 11:30 a.m. Monday. The Clayton County Police Department is investigating the deaths. Clayton County Police spokeswoman Sonja Sanchez says they still don't know why Slonaker went to Clayton County. A motel clerk told police that Slonaker seemed depressed when she checked into the motel Sunday evening. A report filed with the Centerville Police Department shows other troubles with Slonaker. Slonaker used a gun that her neighbor had reported missing, police say. And the neighbor told officers that Slonaker might be suicidal. According to the report, Slonaker argued with the principal of Centerville Elementary School after her son was suspended for a day about a month ago. Then Slonaker withdrew her son from the school and started home schooling him. The principal then told the Department of Family and Children's Services that Slonaker showed signs of some type of mental problem. The school district wouldn't speak with 13WMAZ about the incident. And neighbors say they're in disbelief. "She was very protective and Jeremiah was her heartbeat," said Toni Hellwig, who lives down the street from Slonaker's house. "It was just they. And they were very tight, very close." Hellwig didn't know Slonaker well, but their sons played and rode their bicycles together. "It is mind-boggling that Donne is gone, but it... it even doubles it knowing that Jeremiah, a ten-year-old, is gone. That he's not gonna be here to live his life. We won't see him riding his bicycle. We won't see him running down the street with the children," Hellwig said. "I would have never thought Donne could hurt anyone, I really didn't. And I'm very sorry that it happened." A grief team called the parents of the boy's former classmates, according to Beth McLaughlin, a spokesperson the Houston County School District. And counselors were at the school to help students cope with this loss.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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