November 20, 2014


Police say Elyria man confessed to killing woman, says she wanted bath salts

ELYRIA — While he was being treated for a suicide attempt after allegedly killing Lauren Moore on May 30, Vernon Shallenberger confessed to beating Moore with a metal baseboard heater cover, Elyria police Detective Randy Baker said during a hearing Wednesday in Elyria Municipal Court.

Baker said Shallenberger told an EMH Elyria Medical Center nurse that he struck Moore during an argument in their Washington Avenue apartment. Shallenberger, 27, claimed that Moore, 26, was clawing at him in attempt to get to bath salts she believed he had hidden in his shirt.

Shallenberger, who also said he tried to restrain Moore, had scratches on his abdomen, Baker said.

Police went to the couple’s apartment after Shallenberger’s brother kicked in the bathroom door at their mother’s house and found Shallenberger in the bathtub with his wrists cut, Baker said.

Shallenberger’s wrists were still bandaged as he sat in the courtroom Wednesday. He hung his head for most of the hearing.

Shallenberger’s mother told police that she was concerned about Moore’s well-being because both Moore and her son had a history of using bath salts, which cause violent hallucinations. Police were called to the couple’s apartment twice for bath salt-related incidents in the days before Moore was killed, Baker said.

In the first instance, Moore was taken to EMH for treatment for ingesting bath salts. In the second incident on May 26, Shallenberger called police to report he had fled the apartment with the couple’s children after hearing gunfire.

A family member ended up taking custody of their three children, who range from 4 months to 6 years old, that night.

When police arrived at the apartment May 30, they found Moore in the blood-spattered back bedroom. The room was in disarray and a closet door had been broken, Baker said. The heater cover was lying next to Moore’s body.

A neighbor reported hearing an argument sometime in the morning hours of May 30, Baker said, including someone saying “stop, stop, stop.” Another neighbor saw Shallenberger leave around 11 a.m.

Baker said it appeared that Shallenberger drove to his mother’s house in Moore’s 2010 Chevrolet Impala, took a shower and later returned to the apartment. He then drove back to his mother’s house and attempted suicide, Baker said.

When defense attorney Paul Griffin asked whether Shallenberger and Moore were high on bath salts at the time of the killing, Baker said police were still waiting for the results of toxicology reports.

Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans has said Moore died from blunt force trauma to her head and neck. Baker said she had other injuries and had been choked as well.

Elyria Municipal Court Judge Gary Bennett determined there was probable cause to send the murder charge Shallenberger faces to a county grand jury.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

  • hottamomma

    wow, its a shame there r more people fighting for dead animals, than a dead person.

    • Judy Offutt

      Animals DONT HAVE A VOICE!

      • hottamomma

        dead humans DONT HAVE A VOICE EITHER!

        • Houndnurse

          Dead humans don’t have a voice, but they have the choice to leave when someone is abusing them. Animals do not have that choice. Do some research and you will see that an abuser starts out abusing animals first, then proceeds to humans. Oh wait, you probably don’t have time because you are busy trolling the internet all day!

          • hottamomma

            the mother that killed her son, he didnt have the choice to leave! oh but u may not no that because u r to busy ho-ing the streets all day!

    • Melissa Merrill Snyder

      There are a lot of people who have and are fighting for Lauren and her kids. Much is being done quietly and behind the scenes.
      The kitten killing is front page news because it just happened and there is questions about why the HO pulled and used his gun in this case.

      • hottamomma

        thank u melissa, my prayers goes out to the familly

    • Nichole Lynn Seni

      wow that’s really sad. Purple Lotus is a great place that fights for humans and animals. Did you know that usually an animal that is being abused has a human at home that is being abused as well- and vice versa. I think you need to educated before you make judgemental remarks about something you have never seen or witnessed. You’re so rude. GTFO

      • hottamomma

        y do u say im rude? because i say my opinion like u do urs? or because i put humans before animals?

        • Nichole Lynn Seni

          No you’re rude because humans and animals alike are equal and they all coincide and exist in the world together. There’s no reason why one should be as important as the other.. both are equally important.

          • Zen Grouch

            “…both are equally important.”

            …pfft, that’s what Jeffrey Dahmer said.

            Look at what that flawed logic got him.