Body discovered at vacant house once owned by Slater's parents; autopsy planned for today
WINCHESTER -- A man wanted in connection with the shooting death of his brother and disappearance of his ex-girlfriend was arrested Saturday after an extensive two-day search, authorities said.
Justin Shane Slater, 24, of 117 Buffalo Trail, Shawneeland, was arrested in Wardensville, W.Va. His brother, Gregory Scott Slater Jr., 28, was found dead Thursday in his Frederick County home.
Authorities called off the search for Justin Slater's ex-girlfriend, Kayleigh Marie Plamondon, 22, of White Post, after Slater was arrested, Clarke County Sheriff Anthony W. "Tony" Roper said. Deputies had found evidence of a violent struggle at a Clarke County home where she was house-sitting.
"As a result of our conversation with Justin, we suspended our search for Kayleigh," Roper said.
He said West Virginia and Clarke County authorities discovered a body in a house at Timberline Drive in Lost River, W.Va. The home -- which now is vacant -- once was owned by Slater's parents, Frederick County Sheriff's Maj. Robert "Robbie" Eckman said.
Officials would not confirm whether the body was that of Plamondon. Identification of the body, time and cause of death is pending an autopsy this morning by a West Virginia medical examiner in Charleston, W.Va., Roper said.
"The Plamondon family has asked that this office pass along their appreciation to the community and law enforcement agencies for their efforts to find Kayleigh," a Clarke County Sheriff's Office news release states.
Authorities declined to discuss details of their interview with Slater, which was attended by officials from both Frederick and Clarke counties.
Slater is being held on a fugitive from justice warrant at Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta, W.Va., where he awaits an extradition hearing. Eckman said he expected the hearing to come quickly, but it could be up to 10 days.
Slater will be taken to Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Frederick County upon extradition. The Clarke County Sheriff's Office has not issued a warrant for his arrest, Roper said.
Slater faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, Eckman said.
According to Eckman, Slater entered a 7-Eleven in Wardensville, W.Va., about 1:15 p.m. Saturday. The store's clerk recognized Slater as a wanted suspect and notified the 911 center in Hardy County, giving a description of the vehicle he was driving.
Hardy County Deputy David Warren stopped the car around 1:55 p.m. and identified the driver as Slater. Slater was the only person in the car at the time, Eckman said, and was driving a black, four-door Volkswagen -- not the gold Jeep Cherokee officials had been looking for.
Slater -- whose nickname is "Pi" -- surrendered without resistance, and authorities determined the vehicle had been stolen earlier Saturday in Schuylkill County, Pa., Eckman said.
Pennsylvania authorities are still searching for the Jeep, but that search does not involve area law enforcement, the news release states.
The search for Plamondon led authorities to the banks of the Shenandoah River on Friday, where wilderness and cadaver search-and-rescue dogs aided the operation. Kayleigh Plamondon's mother, Debbie Plamondon, made a plea for her daughter's safe return.
Jeffrey Riggleman, Slater's uncle, said Friday the two brothers "loved each other. They talked to each other about everything."