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Motive still unknown in murder-suicide

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

The motive remains a mystery.

After speaking to a 36-year-old woman's sister and father, Clayton County Police detectives still don't know why Donne Marie Slonaker drove her son 80 miles north, checked into a Stockbridge motel, and killed him and herself.

Slonaker and her 10-year-old son were found dead at a Motel 6 Monday afternoon, in room 118. The boy was lying on the floor, with a .380-caliber bullet through the back of his head. Slonaker was dead on the bed, apparently from a self-inflicted shot from the same gun, police said.

The Centerville woman and her boy checked into the 7233 Davidson Parkway motel around 7 p.m., Sunday, said Sonja Sanchez, Clayton County Police spokeswoman. The woman rented the $44 room for one night, and the clerk later told police Slonaker seemed, "depressed."

The two dead bodies were discovered after Slonaker and her son didn't check out Monday morning and didn't answer the door. A motel manager and maintenance man broke into the room, and found the murder-suicide scene.

Sanchez said detectives spoke to Slonaker's father, in Clarksville, Tenn., and her sister in Houston County, Ga., in the 24 hours after the bodies were found Monday. But, the family members couldn't say why the woman would want to kill herself or her son. They couldn't say why she was in Clayton County at a motel off the interstate, 80 miles north of her home near Warner Robins, and more than 300 miles south of her father's home near Nashville.

According to Sanchez, Centerville police received a report on Monday morning saying Slonaker was suicidal and had stolen a Russian-made, semi-automatic pistol.

Cpl. Raymond Schulten told the Clayton County detectives that Slonaker's neighbors had the woman in their home on Sunday "when she appeared to be suicidal," Sanchez reported.

The gun found in the motel room was the same gun registered to the Houston County residents she visited.

The investigation is ongoing.