Search for woman heads to river

Winchester — Clarke County deputies and search dogs spent Friday searching along the Shenandoah River for Kayleigh Plamondon, missing since Tuesday.
Her disappearance from a home in the county is believed to be related to the shooting death of Gregory Scott Slater, whose body was discovered by deputies in his Valley Mill Road house early Thursday.
Justin Shane Slater, 24, Plamondon’s former boyfriend and the brother of the dead man, is the leading suspect in both incidents. He is considered an armed and dangerous fugitive.
Search dog Petra reacts to scents along the Shenandoah River Friday near the U.S. 50 bridge. Officials were using the dog to check the river as part of the search for Kayleigh Plamondon.(Photos by Jeff Taylor)
Standing at the edge of the river Friday while traffic zoomed overhead on the U.S. 50 bridge, Loudoun County resident Debbie Plamondon used television news cameras to send a message to the man believed to be responsible for her daughter’s disappearance.
“I want to talk to you; I want to know what is going on in your mind,” said Plamondon, pleading with Slater to call her. “I really need to hear from you now, because if I can go to Kayleigh that would be my next step — to find her and make sure that she is safe.”
Starting at 7:30 a.m. Friday, investigators and search and rescue dogs patrolled the house and surrounding landscape where Kayleigh Plamondon was house-sitting when she was last seen.
According to Clarke County Investigator Patricia Putnam, the house is large, with outbuildings and considerable acreage, as well as river access.
Sheriff Tony Roper said deputies were searching the river because of its proximity to the house.
One of the search and rescue dogs has been trained to ride on a boat and scent people or human remains submerged in waterways, according to handler Sharon Jones. She works with DOGS East, a search and rescue organization in Richmond.
Court documents show the house where Plamondon was last seen in showed evidence of violence.
According to a search warrant for the house, deputies found a red substance consistent with blood on the floor next to the bed in the master bedroom and on a roll of toilet paper.
Kayleigh Plamondon was housesitting at this home in southern Clarke County. She was last seen Tuesday in the residence.
Deputies also collected samples of apparent bloodstains from inside the washing machine, several doors, a nightstand, and a chair.
The search warrant also states that sheets were missing from the bed, and that Samantha Stephenson, the last person to see Kayleigh Plamondon, said the sheets were present and the bed was made Tuesday night.
Stephenson told police Plamondon had said she received a number of calls that night from her former boyfriend, Justin Slater, and that she had been having problems with him.
After Plamondon was reported missing Wednesday, investigators tried to locate Justin Slater.
When they couldn’t find him, they tried to reach his family and friends, which led them to discover Gregory Slater’s body at 3:48 Thursday morning. The discovery launched the manhunt for his brother, who has been charged with first-degree murder.
While law enforcement agencies along the East Coast have been asked to look for Justin Slater, Roper said his officers will continue to search Clarke County and the area around the house for Kayleigh Plamondon.
“We’ll search until we find her,” he said Friday.
Justin Slater is considered armed and dangerous, and anyone seeing him should call 911, officials said.
He is white, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, and 170 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes.
Plamondon is white, blond, 5 feet, 7 inches, and 125 pounds, with blue eyes.
Slater may be driving a 1999 brownish-gold Jeep SUV, with Virginia license plate XXG3569. The vehicle has flared wheel wells and a broken rear window; its right side has tinted windows, but the ones on the left are not tinted.
Slater may have a white dog and a black dog with him.
Anyone with information about these incidents may call the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 540-662-6168, the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office at 540-955-1234, or Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS.

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