Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mother's Slaying Has Family Baffled; the Yulee Woman Was Found Last Month in a Brunswick Hotel

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mother's Slaying Has Family Baffled; the Yulee Woman Was Found Last Month in a Brunswick Hotel

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

YULEE - Michelle Hainley was beautiful, outspoken, strong-willed with a high sense of justice, family members say. Her 3-year-old son, Keelan, meant everything to her.

"She loved her son," her mother, Linda Johnson, said this week.

Hainley, 21, was found dead in a Kingsland, Ga., hotel room Feb. 26, and Kingsland police are conducting a homicide investigation. Her family is afraid her unfailing, unquestioning generosity was her undoing.

"She'd do anything for anyone," Johnson said. "She'd give her last nickel. She was more concerned for everybody else than for herself. People used to call in the middle of the night. If they said they needed a ride, she'd come get them. If they didn't have a place to stay, she would bring them home."

She enjoyed shopping for shoes and she loved music, her family members said. She had a very strong personality, Johnson said.

"She would wear her pajamas and big puppy dog slippers into the store sometimes. She would just walk in, dressed like that, like she owned the place," Johnson said.

Hainley didn't seem to sense any danger Feb. 24 when she told her mother, who she lived with, that she was going to give her sometime-boyfriend a ride to Georgia and that she would be back the next day, Johnson said.

Hainley kissed her son good night, told him she loved him and left home for the last time, Johnson said.

She took a family dog - a Chihuahua- with her. "He was in the room, I guess, with her, when it happened," she said.

But her family doesn't know what happened in that hotel room because they said Georgia investigators have told them virtually nothing. The family doesn't even know the cause of her death yet, they say.

"We're still working it," Kingsland Police Department spokesman Todd Tetterton said Tuesday "We're conducting interviews and getting information. …

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