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NVDaily

Family members of victim, suspect shocked by slaying

By Elizabeth Wilkerson -- ewilkerson@nvdaily.com

GORE -- Brothers Justin and Scott Slater were great boys who always seemed to do the right things, family members said Friday.

"Actually, you couldn't ask for any better kids," said Michael Riggleman, one of the Slater brothers' uncles.

"They loved each other," said Jeffrey Riggleman, another uncle. "They talked to each other about everything."

"Everything," Michael Riggleman added, nodding.

Now, Justin Shane Slater, 24, is wanted for first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of his brother, Gregory Scott Slater Jr., 28. Justin Slater's ex-girlfriend, Kayleigh Marie Plamondon, 22, is listed as missing under suspicious circumstances through the Clarke County Sheriff's Office.

Frederick and Clarke county authorities are treating the homicide and Plamondon's disappearance as being related, Frederick County Sheriff's Maj. Robert "Robbie" Eckman said Thursday.

"I don't think it's actually sunk in on all of us yet. I really don't," Michael Riggleman, of 115 Buffalo Trail, Shawneeland, said Friday.

Justin Slater "was a good kid," he said, and was living next door, at 117 Buffalo Trail, in his grandmother's basement.

"Justin was always a happy-go-lucky person," Michael Riggleman said, and he loved to fish and hunt.

Speaking of Scott Slater, Michael Riggleman said, "Oh, he was great. He was fun to be around. ... He'd make you laugh. He's the type of person who'd give you the shirt right off his back."

Plamondon "was a good person, too," he said. Though their romantic relationship had ended, Justin Slater and Plamondon "got along great," he said, and, as recently as Sunday, she had come to visit her ex-boyfriend.

Mitchell Riggleman, another of the Slater brothers' uncles, said Justin Slater and Plamondon "actually lived together for a while." Jeffrey Riggleman said the pair had known each other since high school.

When asked about Justin Slater's history of "psychiatric evaluation," which was mentioned in a Thursday press release from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, Michael Riggleman said those evaluations had been going on for "about a month."

"We think he's done got into some bad drugs, and that's what's causing it all," Michael Riggleman said. Justin Slater had fallen in "with the wrong people," he said, and several people had tried to talk to him about his troubles.

"All Scott's talked about for the last couple weeks was helping him," Mitchell Riggleman said.

The family is still in shock, and Justin and Scott Slater's parents are "taking it rough," Michael Riggleman said. Scott Slater was Justin Slater's only sibling, he said.

"We just stay together and talk," he said. "Just like an hour or so ago we were talking about the funny things [Scott Slater] would do. And Justin was the same way."

Michael Riggleman last saw Justin Slater on Sunday. He "hollered out the window" of his car to say he was taking a key to a friend, and, when he returned, he began helping his uncle in the yard.

"We talked," he said. "He was great, like nothing was wrong."




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