A suspected drug dealer is accused of molesting a dead body after falsely providing police with key evidence that led to his arrest.
The Florida man provided police with home surveillance footage showing him dragging the body of a 38-year-old mother of two the day after she was seen entering his home.
William Redden, 51, allegedly wrapped the lifeless body of Stephanie Shenefield in a sheet before dragging her into his car and dumping her in a ditch, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.
Shenefield took an Uber to Redden’s home after 1 a.m. on June 3.
Investigators believe Shenefield died sometime during the night and Redden disposed of the body rather than calling authorities.
Redden is an eight-time convicted felon and suspected drug dealer, WTSP reported.
He told officers that she spent the night at his home and left the next morning.
When police asked if they could review footage from security cameras outside, Redden relented and said the cameras only monitor the outside of his home, the sheriff’s office said.
“He tells them not to take pictures at the residence. He was wrong,” said Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells.
By viewing the footage, officers were able to determine that Shenefield died at the home.
“William Redden isn’t doing anything about it. He doesn’t call 911, he doesn’t call authorities, he doesn’t call anyone,” Wells said.
The next afternoon, Redden was seen dragging the lifeless body around the house.
Officers returned to Redden’s home after viewing the footage and he refused to speak.
The sheriff’s office received a call from a body found in a ditch while they were looking for Shenefield.
Two people walking in a field near railroad tracks came across her body, which was buried in a shallow grave, Wells said.
“Stephanie’s body was badly decomposed. It took us a while to identify them,” Wells said.
“But we have positively identified them. We are deeply sorry for your loss.”
The cause of death is currently unknown.
Redden now faces charges of molesting a dead body, possession of a firearm by a criminal and possession of an altered firearm, Wells said.
The sheriff said he expects additional charges to be brought against the eight-time criminal during the investigation.
“We will continue to investigate this, but we want you to know that our hearts are breaking for Stephanie’s family,” Wells said.
Redden is currently held on a $108,000 bond.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5555372/florida-man-gave-cops-crucial-evidence-mystery-death/ ‘Killer’ handed police key evidence linking him to the victim’s mysterious death, which was found in a ditch after a serious mistake