NBC News’ ‘Dateline: The House in the Woods’ delves into the tragic case of Kelley Clayton’s murder. One night in September 2015, the 35-year-old was beaten to death by an intruder while her children were still at home. Ultimately, the police uncovered a murder-for-hire plot, with her husband, Thomas Clayton, hiring a former employee to carry out the murder. But this also left Kelley’s family with a piece of shocking news to digest. Kelley’s sister, Kim Bourgeois, and her mother, Elizabeth Stage, were ultimately relieved to see Thomas behind bars. So, if you’re wondering where they might be today, here’s what we know.
Who is in Kelley Clayton’s Family?
Kelley was the youngest of three children born to Elizabeth and the late Howard E. Stage. Howard used to be the Fire Chief for the West Elmira Volunteer fire department in New York. She grew up in Elmira and her older sister, Kim, always wanted to keep her safe. She added, “We are ten years apart. So she was kind of my baby. I am protective of her. [Kelley was] very brave to me, bold, sassy. … She liked to dance, she was pretty. … She could model, and I just think that’s what she wanted to do.”
According to Kim, her sister enjoyed life in Las Vegas, Nevada, before eventually moving back to New York and settling down with Thomas Clayton. He used to play minor league hockey. Regarding him, Kim said, “People were very much in awe of him because he was cute and he was an instigator, and he would start fights. People got very caught up in that.” But that marriage took a tragic turn in September 2015 when Thomas found Kelley dead in the kitchen.
Kim and her mother, Elizabeth, were at the crime scene within an hour of the police arriving. She remembered both of them crying. Ultimately, it was revealed that Thomas hired Michael Beard, a former employee, to kill Kelley. The authorities believed money and getting out of the marriage were his motives. Kim said, “If his plan had come to fruition, he would be done with his wife and his children. He would’ve collected my sister’s million-dollar life insurance policy. Survivor benefits from the children. Homeowners insurance. He would’ve truly benefited financially from the death of all of them.”
Where is Kelley Clayton’s Family Now?
The family was happy to see Thomas being sent away for life. Elizabeth said after his guilty conviction, “Justice for my daughter .. it’s been.. it’s just been a long haul.” In an interview with ABC News, Elizabeth also talked about how she got a tattoo in Kelley’s remembrance and how that was comforting to her. She currently lives in Elmira and has been spending her time traveling and visiting her grandchildren.
While Kim was crestfallen with Kelley’s murder, there was still hope when she said, “You (Thomas) took her life, not her light, and her light will shine forever, through [her children], through me, through my brother, through my mother, forever, and we’ll be OK.” It seems that Kim lives with her family in Horseheads, New York. Furthermore, she took in Kelley’s young daughter and son after the murder and has been raising them. Kim further mentioned that the kids were the reason she wanted to keep going.
Read More: Where is Thomas Clayton Now?