Mich. Woman Who Was 'Trying to Leave the Relationship' Is Allegedly Murdered by Ex in Hotel: Prosecutors

Joseph Michael Slocum Jr. has been charged with murder in connection with Veronica Crain's death

<p>GoFundMe</p> Veronica Crain


Veronica Crain

• Veronica Crain was found fatally shot by police behind the front desk of a hotel, authorities say
• Police found her ex-boyfriend Joseph Michael Slocum Jr. suffering from injuries following a car accident the same evening
• Authorities indicated that Crain was in the process of leaving a relationship with the suspect

A Michigan man is in custody in connection with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old who authorities say was his ex-girlfriend.

Joseph Michael Slocum Jr., 23, was arrested after police found Veronica Crain fatally shot at a hotel in Canton, Mich., the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday.

Canton police responded to a shooting at a hotel on the evening of Feb. 16, according to Monday’s press statement from the prosecutor’s office.

Officers found Crain “behind the front desk, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head,” the statement said. Responding medics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Authorities allege Slocum entered the hotel and fatally shot the victim and fled the scene, per the statement. In about 30 minutes, police responded to a car accident at a separate location where they found the suspect “lying in the road suffering from multiple injuries,” the statement said.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy indicated Crain was in the process of trying to leave her relationship with Slocum.

“The most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim is when they are trying to leave the relationship,” she said in the statement. “Horrifyingly, this case is a textbook example.”

In a Facebook post, a woman identifying herself as Crain’s mother said she is mourning the loss of her “first love, my best friend," calling the victim her "guardian angel.”

“She thought it was love and I don’t know the answer but my baby is gone and didn’t deserve it,” Kimberly Crain wrote, sharing a GoFundMe created to lay Veronica to rest in a manner “as beautiful as possible.”

"This ain’t fair, I feel like my heart as been ripped out out of me she went everywhere with me and now I can’t see her or hear her," Kimberly wrote.

Veronica was employed at a Comfort Inn, according to a location provided in the prosecutor's office's statement, as well as a neighboring business that corroborated the information.

When contacted, Comfort Inn officials declined to comment and directed PEOPLE to the police.

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Online court records show Slocum has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and possession of a firearm.

He has retained an attorney, per court records, but no further information was available. He was arraigned on Monday, according to the prosecutor’s office.

It wasn’t immediately clear if he has entered a plea. The prosecutor’s office did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for further information.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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