The parents of homicide victim Stephanie Ann Slevin and the mother of the man accused of killing her, Shaun Corson, have one thing in common: They want their children back.

Family members reacted Monday to the apparent suicide of Corson, 33, at the Maine State Prison in Warren. Corson, who grew up in Madison, had been accused of killing his girlfriend, Slevin, 31, and stealing her car in Jacksonville, Fla.

Both families are grieving and asking the same question: Why?

“It’s terrible. Nobody should have to go through this,” said Slevin’s father, Roger, of Jacksonville, about his daughter’s death. As for Corson’s death, he said, “I feel sorry for the family, but I don’t feel sorry for him.”

Corson died Saturday afternoon after he hanged himself by a bedsheet in his cell, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, on Monday.

Prison guards discovered him hanging and attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to no avail, McCausland said. Corson was the only inmate in the cell.

Jody Breton, associate commissioner with the Maine Department of Corrections, said she could not release details about the prison’s response while Maine State Police are investigating.

Corson was being held as a fugitive from justice after he was arrested July 7 by U.S. Marshals and Maine police on the line between Madison and Norridgewock.

He was wanted in connection to the June 26 slaying of Slevin, where he allegedly disposed of her body in the bushes near an apartment complex in Jacksonville.

Corson’s mother, Sandra Walker, of Madison, spoke through her tears on Monday. She said despite what her son was accused of doing, he was still her son.

“He came to me and told me that he had done it,” she said. “But he was having a very hard time with it, facing what he did, because it wasn’t him. It wasn’t who he was.”

He suffered from bipolar disorder, she said, in addition to intermittent explosive disorder, which is characterized by violent outbursts.

She said she “just lost it,” when the prison called her to tell her about Corson’s death. Corson was “a good person at heart,” she said, who enjoyed rock climbing, fishing, being outside and working with his hands. He built the two storage sheds in her backyard.

Her brother-in-law also died of cancer on Saturday, she said. “I’ve had good times and bad times, mostly bad right now,” she said. She summed up her son’s death: “It’s a total loss. I miss him so much.”

The Slevins, speaking by phone, said they understand what it is like to lose a child, but they have little remorse for Corson.

“What do I think about it? I think he was a coward who beat my daughter to death. I think he was afraid to go to prison and showed his cowardice by doing what he did. I don’t think he suffered enough,” Roger Slevin said.

His wife, Roz, described their daughter — a licensed dog groomer and esthetician — as having a beautiful smile and as being positive, generous and loyal.

Stephanie Slevin’s sister, Jessica Lee, said, “She loved life and loved to laugh. She was very creative and loved by all who knew her.”

Each family member spoke separately, but they all said Stephanie Slevin enjoyed caring for animals and sometimes took in stray cats and dogs.

“She loved to pick up strays, be they human or otherwise,” Roz Slevin said. “I think that’s one of the reasons she stayed with (Corson) because she thought she could help him.”

Corson lived with Stephanie Slevin and her parents for eight months recently, Roz Slevin said, as they needed time to save money and get a place of their own.

“Never did we know anything about what a violent person he was,” she said. She admitted she didn’t like Corson but said she hadn’t wanted to drive away her daughter by telling her so.

Corson and Stephanie Slevin moved out of her parents’ house in early May in order to live with a friend.

“If we could only go back in time, but we can’t. But we didn’t know anything about his domestic violence because I certainly would have done something about that,” Roz Slevin said.

Corson was convicted in 2002 of burning down a then-girlfriend’s house in Anson.

“It’s been really hard. We’re taking each day as it comes.”

She said when her daughter was found, she was so disfigured she had to be identified through her fingerprints.

“I know he killed my daughter. It was seen. A groundskeeper saw him dumping the body in the bushes,” Roz Slevin said. “The detectives said they were looking for nobody else.”

She added: “I just know that I loved her, and I want her back.”

Roger Slevin said people can donate to the Hubbard House, an organization that helps battered women, in his daughter’s name. More information is available at

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]

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