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Daughter Accused Of Killing 84-Year-Old Mom In Taylorsville

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – An 84-year-old Taylorsville woman was found dead Friday and her daughter has been taken into custody, according to Sgt. Melody Cutler with the Unified Police Department.

Court documents allege 59-year-old Lori Lee Donlay, of Taylorsville, essentially confessed to stabbing her mother to death, but she refused to give an explanation, saying she would take it to the grave. She was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Friday on one count of criminal homicide.

Family members said they fear a mental health illness may have been at play.

She was just a really good person all around,” said Kalli Frederickson, granddaughter of 84-year-old Carole Donlay. “She always supported everybody.”

Family described Donlay as loving and the heart of their family.

“She was always happy, she loved to sing,” Frederickson said.

Frederickson was still in shock Friday night. She stopped by her grandmother’s house to check on her earlier in the day.

“My grandma’s pacemaker stopped working and the hospital called me to notify me that I needed to check on her,” she said.

Police said Frederickson called 911 after finding her grandmother dead in bed.

“Right about 8:30 we received a call of a possible death,” Cutler said. “When officers arrived on scene, there was some blood in the area and things didn’t look right to them.”

Police said Lori Donlay lived with the victim and was the only one home at the time.

According to court documents, detectives found blood leading from Carole Donlay’s bedroom to Lori Donlay’s room, as well as on her clothing. Police also found a kitchen knife with blood on a bathroom counter and said Carole Donlay received several injuries to her chest.

Detectives said Lori Donlay told them her mother “deserved it and now she’s in a better place.” She also refused to tell detectives “why it happened,” saying “she’ll take it to the grave” as she planned to “plead guilty and go to prison.”

“She was still here through the entire thing,” Cutler said. “Our understanding is that she has some mental health issues, so we don’t know how much that played a role in what occurred here.”

Frederickson echoed that suspicion, saying her mother has been battling a mental health illness for years. She said they tried to get her help on multiple occasions.

“People with mental health issues … should not just be turned away if they are not violent towards people because us as family members are telling you, there’s a problem,” Frederickson said.

Police said they are investigating the case as a domestic violence homicide.

Family members have started a GoFundMe page* to raise money for funeral and burial costs.


*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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