By Elizabeth Wilkerson -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Police were still searching late Thursday night for a man wanted in connection with his brother's slaying.
Justin Shane Slater, 24, is wanted for first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a murder "for a homicide that occurred in this jurisdiction within the past two days," according to a Frederick County Sheriff's Office press release. Slater, of Buffalo Trail, Shawneeland, has a history of "psychiatric evaluation" and should be considered armed and dangerous, the release says.
Slater's brother, Gregory Scott Slater Jr., 28, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound at about 3:45 a.m. Thursday at his home at 293 Valley Mill Road, Frederick County Sheriff's Maj. Robert "Robbie" Eckman said. The Sheriff's Office was executing a search warrant at the dead man's home to check his well-being after he failed to show up for work Wednesday, he said.
Eckman declined to say where Gregory Slater was shot. Another man lived in the house, but he was "on the West Coast" and hasn't been to the house "for a few weeks or so," Eckman said.
The suspect's ex-girlfriend, Kayleigh Marie Plamondon, 22, was last seen Tuesday and is listed as missing under suspicious circumstances through the Clarke County Sheriff's Office. Eckman said authorities in Clarke and Frederick counties are treating the homicide and Plamondon's disappearance as being related.
According to a press release from the Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Plamondon's family became concerned when she did not answer phone calls. During a search of the residence where she was last seen, authorities recovered evidence of a "crime of violence," the release says.
On Thursday afternoon, Clarke County Sheriff Anthony W. "Tony" Roper said Plamondon was "house-sitting" at the residence where she was last seen, but has a permanent residence in Clarke County. Plamondon, who works at several local farms, "had a long-term relationship" with the suspect, he said.
"We're just not really positive as to when the breakup occurred," he said. Roper declined to elaborate on the recovered evidence, but said some of it was being sent to a lab for analysis.
At 293 Valley Mill Road late Thursday morning, police vehicles filled the driveway and much of the front yard. Passing moto-rists slowed to survey the scene, and one even stopped in the road to ask a pedestrian what had happened.
By Thursday evening, the driveway was empty and there was little evidence of the earlier police activity.
Kenny Kiefer, of 307 Valley Mill Road, said he went outside to smoke a cigarette at about 1 a.m. Thursday and saw six Frederick County Sheriff's Office vehicles parked along the street.
"I was a bit taken aback by it," he said. When he woke up Thursday morning, crime scene tape was up and down the street.
"You don't ever see that yellow tape unless something bad happened," he said.
Mostly, residents see police when they're out running radar, but "within the last month there's been a lot more activity out here," Kiefer said.
Norma Gleason, of 287 Valley Mill Road, said she has lived in her house, next door to Gregory Slater's residence, for about two months. Gleason's son, Justin Kelley, recently moved to the area from Las Vegas and said having such an incident occur nearby wasn't "really a big deal" to him.
His mother had a different opinion.
"It's creepy," Gleason said. "I haven't been here that long and it's like, 'Uh-oh, I think it's time to move already.'"
Justin Slater, whose nickname is "Pi," is described as white, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 170 pounds, with shoulder-length brown hair and green eyes. He may have a white dog and a black dog with him, according to a press release from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
He should be driving a brownish-gold 1999 Jeep SUV, with Virginia tags XXG 3569 and "flaring on all the wheel wells," the release says. The compartment window on the back driver's side is broken, it says, and windows on only the right side of the vehicle are tinted.
Plamondon is described as white, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, 125 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes, the release says.
Anyone with information about Plamondon is asked to call the Clarke County Sheriff's Office at 955-1234. Anyone who sees Slater is asked to call 911.
Staff writer Sally Voth contributed to this story.