By Collin Dever
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A memorial service for a Valencia student killed in an a apparent murder-suicide was held on the West Campus Feb. 9. Loyta Gaye Sloley was found dead by Orlando police on Jan. 27 in the Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown hotel on North Magnolia Ave. Earlier in the day she was abducted by her boyfriend, James Clayton, who after hours of driving around the city, arrived at the Marriott, shot Sloley, then turned the gun on himself, according to police.

Police were notified of the incident by co-workers at Lucerne Hospital after Sloley, 34, called to report she would not be at work because her boyfriend was holding her against her will, and that she was unaware of her location. The police tracked the cell phone she called from to the Courtyard, but when policed arrived both Sloley and Clayton already laid dead.

The memorial service was organized by the Black High Achievers, of which Sloley was a member, and about 40 people attended. Dr. Sylvester Robinson, the academic advisor, said a prayer, and former classmates said a few words. Janet Bryan, the president of Black High Achievers, read a poem but was overcome by grief and a faculty member stepped in to finish.

Sloley graduated from Valencia with an Associate of Arts in general studies in December. She had been a student since spring 2001 and was enrolled in the current term as a non-degree seeking student, according to Valencia records.

Phone messages were left for Bryan and Sgt. Barbara Jones, of the Orlando Police Public Information Office, in an attempt to get comments, but neither responded prior to deadline.

Funeral services for Sloley were held Feb. 7 at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Orlando, and interment was to be held in her native Sheffield, Jamaica.

— Additional reporting by Leah Reidenbach