A woman’s decomposed body was found in a drainage ditch six days after her disappearance after police found a key clue on her laptop.
Stephanie Lynn Shenefield, 38, was reported missing by her mother on June 2, sparking a search in Bradenton, Fla. about 45 miles south of Tampa.
“The family knew something was wrong. It was totally out of Stephanie,” Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells told The Sun.
Family and friends began distributing reward flyers around the city, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Sheriff Wells told reporters, “She hadn’t contacted anyone. Nobody had seen her. Friends were behind the scenes trying to call other friends just to make sure she was okay.”
With the help of Shenefield’s roommate, detectives were able to access her laptop and discovered that she had taken an Uber to William Redden’s home in the early hours of June 3.
Investigators said Redden initially cooperated, telling them Shenefield stopped by around 1 a.m. and then left in the morning, the Times reports.
He claimed he didn’t know where Shenefield went and allowed police to search his home, officials said.
At that point, officers discovered that he was under video surveillance inside and outside his home.
Redden claimed the system didn’t record but allowed detectives to take the DVR, reports The Times.
When they reviewed the footage, the detectives found that it had indeed been taken, and it was revealed that Shenefield showed them arriving at 1 a.m. and hanging out with Redden.
Police claim it later showed her being carried by him out of camera view.
“Sometime during the night Stephanie dies in this residence. We don’t know the cause of death,” the sheriff said.
“But what we’re doing – is that William Redden isn’t doing anything about it. He doesn’t call 911. He doesn’t call authorities. He doesn’t call anyone.”
Police allege that footage showed Redden dragging what appeared to be a sheet-wrapped body into the back seat of his car at around 12:20 p.m. before driving off.
With that information, detectives said, they went back to Redden’s home, but he refused to speak to them.
Authorities then began tracking her electronic devices in an attempt to locate her body.
That’s when they received a call from two Palmetto residents who were walking their dogs on Thursday and discovered a body in a drainage ditch in a field.
“Stephanie was badly decomposed,” Wells said, adding, “It took us a while to identify her and notify the family.”
Redden was arrested Thursday and charged with abusing a dead body, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of an altered firearm because the serial number was allegedly discarded.
Shenefield’s friend of 10 years, Jennifer Massrock, told Spectrum News that she was stunned after hearing the news.
“He deserves whatever he gets,” Massrock said. “We will do justice to Stephanie.”
An autopsy was performed Friday to determine the cause and manner of death, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Randy Warren.
Redden has been charged and is currently in custody. The investigations are ongoing.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5545889/death-decomposed-woman-florida-laptop/ The decomposed body of a missing woman is found in a drainage ditch after the search’s laptop reveals a key clue