Suspect: Karen Slater

From deputy Sheriff Bonnie Blanchard’s files:

Karen Slater. 26. Current residence, Mountain View, California. Employed as tech help desk worker. Graduate of SBHS and community college. Family owns Slater Salvage, suspected to function as a chop-shop. The owner, Fred Slater, is friendly with police and occasionally provides both county and city officers with valuable information.

Karen Slater lived with Taylor Burns until March, 2018. She reportedly left that month for California in the company of Rick Lowry.

In April, 2017, Slater crashed an unregistered car into Lowry’s motorcycle, resulting in his three-day hospitalization. She was not injured. She has no other police contacts. Lowry has had multiple police contacts and three arrests, one for theft and two for fraud. Has never been convicted.

Karen Slater and Taylor Burns had lived together in his Roosevelt Street condominium for three years before their relationship ended. It is not known exactly when and under what circumstances Slater began her relationship with Lowry.

Multiple motives have been uncovered for Karen Slater and Lowry. Karen Slater and Liz Burns were known to dislike each other, as the mother did not approve of her son’s choice of mates. Karen Slater stood to benefit financially from the mother’s death. Lowry is a known schemer and bad actor, and had met Karen Slater nearly two months before the disappearance of Liz Burns.

Lowry, now living in California, has refused interview requests. Karen Slater has granted four phone interviews. Her claim that she was at work at Console Graphics the evening of the mother’s disappearance has been confirmed.

 Karen Slater has portrayed Taylor Burns as a Jeckyll-and-Hyde personality, who frequently uses drugs and occasionally becomes belligerent. She says police have been called in several incidents involving Taylor Burns and strangers, but no record of those calls exists.

Karen Slater says she believes Taylor Burns killed his mother in a drug-fueled rage after an argument over the mother’s beach property. She also says Taylor Burns has committed domestic battery against her person, although she did not call police in any of those alleged incidents.

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Coming soon: Chapter 11