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CALHOUN, Ga -- Investigators have linked the murder of a Georgia native to her husband's affair with another woman.

42-year-old Dana Mackay, born and raised in Calhoun, Georgia, was found bludgeoned and stabbed in her Virginia home.

Police in Williamsburg, Virginia, have charged Mackay's husband, John Wayne Mackay, and his mistress, Nichole Houchin.

The victim's family here in Georgia says they can't get through a day without thinking of the horror their loved one faced.

"It runs through my head how helpless she was when somebody kicked in her door armed, and they knew exactly what they were going to do to her," said Sarah Pearson, Mackay's mother.

What happened to Dana Mackay on July 27th was shocking enough. When Dana Mackay's family heard the admissions of the victim's husband, their grief grew even more.

"The way this was done, the way these animals acted, I can't believe there' are monsters in the world like this," said Dwight Patterson, the victim's father.

It's been five years since Dana Mackay left Georgia and moved to Virginia with her husband. This past May, her family learned that Army Staff Sgt. John Mackay was having an affair. Dana told her friends and family she wanted to save the marriage.

"She said, 'dad, we're going to church, we're going to work this out,'" said Patterson. "I just wish I'd got more involved in it."

"In the back of my mind I had a fear that something bad was going to happen to her," said longtime friend Paula Johnson.

John Mackay and Michele Houchin are now in jail charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

In a jail house interview, Mackay told WAVY-TV he and his mistress talked about murder.

"It was supposed to be just a fantasy thing," said the suspect. "That's all we ever did. Emails and stuff. Fantasy."

Investigators say Mackay sent an email to his mistress three days before the murder asking, "Will her be gone before I get back?'

Mackay was allegedly out of town at the time of the murder.

Police say Houchin responded, "trying to make it happen"

Dana Mackay's family believes there may be others involved.

"It shouldn't have happened," said the victim's mother. "It shouldn't have happened."

Mackay and his mistress are being held in a Virginia jail without bond.

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