A couple walking their dogs Thursday evening found the body of a Bradenton woman in a drainage ditch six days after she went missing.
Stephanie Shenefield, 38, was last seen on June 3. Her mother reported her missing to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, launching a missing person’s investigation, Sheriff Rick Wells told reporters Friday.
Wells said family told deputies this behavior was out of character for Shenefield, who hadn’t been in touch with anyone.
After searching her laptop, Wells said detectives found Shenefield had taken an Uber to the home of William Redden, whose relationship to Shenefield is still under investigation, The Tampa Bay Times reported. Redden claimed initially to not know where she had went after she came over at 1 a.m.
Video surveillance footage, however, told a different story. Redden appeared to wrap her body in a sheet and drag Shenefield’s body through his house and into his car around 12:20 p.m.
“Sometime during the night, Stephanie dies inside that residence. We do not know the cause of death,” Wells said. “But what we do is that William Redden does not nothing about it. He doesn’t call 911. He doesn’t call authorities. He doesn’t call anyone.”
UPDATE: Sadly, the body of Stephanie Shenefield was discovered last night in a ditch in Palmetto. Detectives are now conducting a death investigation & cause of death is still unknown. Sheriff Wells will provide updates at an 11 am press conference at MCSO's Operations Center. https://t.co/fgyOTgGngM
— Manatee Sheriff (@ManateeSheriff) June 10, 2022
Wells said the body was badly decomposed and took a while to identify.
Redden was arrested and charged with abuse of a corpse, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of an altered firearm due to the absence of a serial number. He’s currently in the Manatee County Jail on an $108,000 bond.
Shenefield’s friend of 10 years, Jennifer Massrock, told Spectrum News she went numb after hearing the news.
“He deserves whatever he gets,” Massrock said. “We’re going to get justice for Stephanie.”