Crime

Woman fatally shot by former police officer in murder-suicide

Officers block off the scene of a murder-suicide in Huntersville last week.
Officers block off the scene of a murder-suicide in Huntersville last week. WBTV

A Huntersville woman whose father said helped “hundreds if not thousands” of people as a weight-loss consultant was fatally shot by a former police officer she once dated who then killed himself.

Police went to Elisa Meryl Slutzky’s home on Wednesday afternoon after a relative said she had not responded to telephone calls.

Slutzky, 47, and Kenneth Dale Henson, 55, of Hickory were found with gunshot wounds, Huntersville police said in a statement on Monday. Both were pronounced dead at the home in the 12300 block of Cross Meadow Road, off McCoy Road, police said.

Police ruled the deaths a murder-suicide based on evidence at the home. “The findings of the Medical Examiner’s Office confirm those findings of the police department,” according to the police statement.

Henson was a law enforcement officer in Lenoir and Hickory before working at tape manufacturer Shurtape in Hickory, according to his obituary.

He was hired as a Lenoir officer in March 1997 and left the department in April 1999, a Lenoir police spokeswoman said. She did not know why he left the department. Henson was a Hickory police officer about 25 years ago, a department spokeswoman said.

Henson’s ex-wife – not Slutzky – filed a domestic violence complaint and obtained a temporary restraining order against him in 2012, court records show. He was convicted of what is now driving under the influence in 2010 and received prayers for judgment in 2007 for communicating threats and assault by pointing a gun, both misdemeanors, according to court records.

In its statement, the Huntersville Police Department did not say how or even whether Slutzky and Henson knew each other. Police did not return a phone message from the Observer.

Slutzky’s father, Don Slutzky, said his daughter cut off a relationship with Henson about a year ago. Slutzky said he’d met Henson only once.

“I am a father who fears he missed something, and now my daughter is dead,” Slutzky said. “I didn’t understand as a father how dangerous he was. When I met him, he didn’t seem like a man who was dangerous. We are a family that has never lived with violence.”

Elisa Slutzky was born in Philadelphia and grew up in a neighborhood “that was not rich but was full of good hardworking people,” her dad said. As a weight-loss consultant, he said, his daughter “was very sensitive to the needs of people and tried to help people in their lives.”

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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