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Utah woman charged with murder in death of elderly mother

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Taylorsville woman who family members say has struggled with mental illness was charged Friday with stabbing her elderly mother to death.

Lori Lee Donlay, 58, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony.

On Oct. 23, Unified police were called to 1215 W. Middlesex Road on a report of a woman possibly having a full cardiac arrest, but arrived to find Carol Donlay, 84, deceased in her bed with multiple stab wounds, according to charging documents.

Family members were initially alerted about 4 a.m. by Carol Donlay’s doctor that her pacemaker was not working, the charges state. When a family member went to the house, she found Donlay covered in blankets.

“When she lifted the blankets, she observed blood everywhere,” the charges state.

When a family member confronted Lori Donlay, who lived with her mother, Donlay said “it’s the end of the world,” the charges state.

In Donlay’s bedroom, her mother’s purse was found inside Lori’s purse and had blood on it, the charges state. Family members told police that Carol Donlay “always had her purse with her because Lori would take money and cards from it,” according to the charges.

A kitchen knife with blood on it was located on the counter of the master bedroom, the charges state.

When questioned by detectives, Lori Donlay claimed she had been in her bedroom for two weeks because she was “tired and sick of dealing with people,” noting that her mother “was always accusing Lori of stealing from her,” according to the charges.

When questioned about the blood on her shirt, Donlay replied, “if it’s my mom’s blood then so be it” and later stated, “I think she is in a better place” and “it’s the end,” the charges state.

When pressed about what had happened, Donlay said “she did not care and she just wanted to go to jail.”

“Lori was asked if she felt bad Carol was murdered, and Lori said ‘she felt sad about it but it had to be done so she would not be in pain anymore,’” the charges state.

When Donlay was arrested, she stated “she wouldn’t tell why it happened and she’ll take it to the grave,” according to a police affidavit.

In 2012, Donlay was charged with assault in a domestic violence-related case that stemmed from the same house, according to court records. That charge was later dismissed. According to the court docket, a letter from Intermountain Psychiatry and Counseling Services was submitted to the court as part of that case. The contents of the letter were deemed to be private and were sealed.

Family members have stated that Donlay has a long history of mental illness, including schizophrenia.

On a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for funeral expenses, a friend of Lori Donlay’s daughter states, “Please listen mental illness IS REAL, my best friend’s mom is schizophrenic. We have tried getting her help for years, and every time was told that if she was not a danger to herself or anyone else at that moment there was nothing they could do. We pleaded and got no help. Now her grandmother is gone and will be missed.”