On the 28th of November 2020, a sanitation worker found a body at the side of the road on the 1000 block of Red Haw Lane in Houston, Texas, United States.
John Richardson, a solid waste supervisor, told ABC 13 that one of his garbage truck drivers called him that Saturday morning and told him that he thought he either saw a body or a mannequin. He continued on his route and John and a coworker went to the area to check it out. It was the body of a young woman.
The body was later identified as twenty six year old Alexis Sharkey. She was found at the side of the road naked but there were no obvious or visible signs of injury. She had no identification on her. The possibility that she may have overdosed was looked into and a toxicology report was ordered. The direction the investigation would take would depend on the results of the Autopsy.
Alexis lived in an apartment with her forty nine year old husband, Tom Sharkey, just a few miles from where her body was found. She spent Thanksgiving morning with him and then went to a friend's house for dinner later that night. She made plans to meet up with her friends again on the Friday night but she didn't show up. Her text messages to her friends stopped at 6pm on the 27th of November. When police went to her apartment, they found her car parked outside.
Alexis Sharkey and Tom Sharkey at Hallloween
When her body was found, Alexis's mother, Stacey Robinault, told multiple media outlets that she believed her daughter was murdered:
“I do. I do believe she was murdered. From what I’ve been able to gather, as well as a mother’s gut. I learned very young as a mom to trust my gut. It’s not let me down.”
Stacey last spoke to her daughter just before Thanksgiving. Alexis was making plans to return to the family home in Pennsylvania where Stacey still lived for Christmas. Alexis grew up in Pennsylvania with her two sisters. Her plan initially was to go to medical school but after she graduated from college with a biology degree, she decided to take a year out. That year out caused her to change her plans.
She moved to West Texas and met Tom. They later married in January 2020 and she became a full-time social media influencer. She sold products for the brand Monat which is a multi-level marketing company that sells skin-care, hair and hygiene products. According to her friends and family, she was happy with her job and was always on her phone working. But, according to three of her friends,Lauren Breaux, Ally Cale, and Courtney Ehninger, things were not good for Alexis in her personal life and Alexis had expressed fears for her own safety in the weeks leading up to her death. Lauren told ABC 13:
“I'm going to be honest, she confided in me about how worried she was for her safety when we went to Marfa, Texas, almost a month ago. We were sitting down at dinner and she lost it. We walked back to our hotel room and she confided in me that night in things. I looked at her and thought: 'She's petrified. This girl is scared for her life."
Alexis's friends did not give any further details in relation to their conversation as they do not want to interfere with the ongoing police investigation
Alexis was a private person and didn't share a lot of her personal details with others. Friends said that Alexis and Tom had been having marital problems and they were about to file for divorce. Allegations were made that Tom was controlling, manipulative and physically abusive towards Alexis. It was also alleged that Alexis and Tom argued in their apartment just before she went missing. The Daily Mail reported that Stacey said that her daughter had an argument with Tom before leaving the house without her car.
But Tom disputed that. He said that just before she disappeared , he urged her not to leave the home as she was under the influence. He said that there was no argument. He further denied they were having problems and via a Facebook post he said:
“You all should be ashamed of yourselves! I have been assisting the deputies and making phone calls to find out what happened to my wife. Next time, stop and think! And realize! You don’t know it all!”
According to Tom, Alexis wasn't happy and was stressed and he said that he had been the one taking care of her.
Two months after Alexis was found by the side of the road, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences revealed the cause of death was strangulation. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Stacey wanted to bring Alexis home for a funeral in her hometown in Pennsylvania as Alexis had only lived in Houston for less than a year so it didn't feel like it was her home. But she needed next of kin approval from Tom. Stacey claimed that he stopped cooperating:
"It just was a very strange. I’d almost call it, a fight to get her."
After two weeks with no cooperation from Tom, the Medical Examiner changed next of kin custody to Stacey. Alexis's body was released into the custody of Stacey and she held a private viewing in Houston before bringing her daughter back home with her to be buried in Pennsylvania .
Police have not made any arrests and the case is under investigation.
Anyone with information on Alexis’s death is asked to call the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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