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She was killed and abandoned on the side of the road; her family still doesn't know why

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-07 00:26:45-04

MADISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Chandra Potschner sensed something was wrong the last time she spoke to her daughter, she said Friday.

Maegan Motter, 27, was erratic and distracted during their daily video chat June 12, and after a nonsensical conversation, she cut her mother off and ended the call quickly. 

Hours later, police discovered Motter's body. She had been shot in the head and abandoned in a Madison Township driveway.

Despite the arrest of suspect James Geran, Potschner said she knew as little about the circumstances of Motter's death by Friday as she did that night.

"I have a lot of anger just because I don't know why," she said. "I just want to know why."

Police believe Motter's murder was the first of two committed within a 24-hour period by her "business associate" Geran, who engaged officers in a two-hour standoff the following morning when they traced evidence at the Motter scene back to a Trenton apartment he shared with his girlfriend, 26-year-old Gina McCleary, and the girlfriend's mother, 63-year-old Sharon McCleary. 

After exchanging fire with deputies and negotiators, Geran released the younger McCleary before turning his gun on first her mother and then himself. 

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Her wound was fatal. His was not. Still sporting bandages and a head wound, he was transferred from hospital to jail and charged with murder in connection to the two women's deaths June 26.

Potschner said she and other family members had long worried about the people with whom Motter spent her time, describing the young woman as an outgoing person who "always saw the good in bad people" and did her best to help others. The family knew Geran, Potschner said, and Motter had helped him before by buying him meals and paying his cell phone bill.

She was also the mother of a 2-year-old son who "was her joy," according to Potschner.

"It's torn us apart," she said of Motter's death. "She was too young to go. We miss her. I wish we knew the story, but we don't."

Motter's boyfriend, Jamel Tyler, said he learned she had been killed when police arrived to question him about it. 

"I would give anything to change it," he said. "She was a good person. She would give her shirt off her back and go without for anyone."

The couple "spent every waking day together," but he said he was still dumbfounded by the news of Motter's death. Like Potschner, he wanted answers.

And he wanted one more thing: For Motter's death to haunt Geran for the rest of his life.

"I want him to dream about it," he said. "I want him to think about it while he is eating. … I want it to tear him down."

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones declined to specify the nature of the "business" relationship he claimed existed between Motter and Geran.