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Woman in slaying-suicide was vulnerable, kin says

PROVIDENCE -- The family of a woman killed last week in what police are calling a murder-suicide said the victim was far from home and susceptible to the attentions of the man who allegedly killed her.

Heather Mullins-Keltz grew up in several southern states and had moved to Groton, Conn., with her husband, an enlisted Navy man. She was lonely in her new home, said her cousin, Samantha Ramsey.

Ramsey told The Providence Journal that Mullins-Keltz and Michael Shechtman, the man police believe killed her, communicated online at first. Ramsey said she believes Shechtman tried to entice Mullins-Keltz, 20, by offering what she lacked in her life in Groton: He had a lucrative job and a new house in a nice suburb. He was 13 years older, educated, and charming,said Ramsey, 26, by phone from her home in Maryland.

A SWAT team found Mullins-Keltz's decapitated body in Shechtman's Plainfield, Conn., house Wednesday morning as Shechtman led police on a chase through Rhode Island. Her head was in the car when Shechtman crashed on Route 10 in Cranston, then fatally shot himself. Shechtman had told police that he met Mullins-Keltz and her husband shortly after they moved to Connecticut.

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