It’s been almost two months since the naked body of Alexis Sharkey was found just hours after her disappearance over Thanksgiving weekend. And yet we’re only just now getting confirmation the Instagram influencer was murdered.
In the time since the 26-year-old’s body was found on the side of the road near the Katy Freeway and Eldridge Parkway in Houston, her friends and family have called for an investigation into what they view as an obvious case of foul play. Not only was Alexis naked, she was miles away from her home, the last place she had been seen, partially hidden in some bushes.
As her mother said just days after the tragic discovery:
“The way in which she was found — my child would never do that to herself. That doesn’t even make sense. That is absolutely foul play. There is nothing to me that suggests that this was an accident. And there’s nothing to me that suggests anything else, other than that this was done to her. And I believe that in my mother’s gut.”
Her mother’s gut was right on the money.
Despite the fact there were no initial signs of physical trauma, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has now confirmed the cause of death as homicide by strangulation. The announcement follows a thorough autopsy as initial reports were mysteriously in the dark.
That mystery — along with minor celebrity of the victim and the shocking way in which she was discovered — have garnered the case national attention.
In the weeks immediately following Sharkey’s — well, we guess we can say murder now — her closest friends and family have come forward to the press with what information they are able to impart.
What we know is, Alexis was last seen on Thanksgiving Day when she had dinner with friends. The following evening she may or may not have had a big fight with her husband, Tom Sharkey. Her friends claim he called around, telling them they’d had a fight, causing her to storm out — he later disputed that to a local reporter, though he confirmed she left on foot because she’d had too much alcohol to drive. Read more of his confusing interview HERE.
That was the last anyone saw her before she was discovered. Tom called friends, and the search began. On Sunday morning, he checked the medical examiner’s office and found her; she’d been marked as a Jane Doe after being spotted on the side of the road by a sanitation truck driver on Saturday morning.
One of Alexis’ BFFs, Lauren Breaux, told ABC13 her friend had been “scared for her life” from someone close to her:
“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.’”
Breaux did not elaborate as there is still an open investigation into Sharkey’s death.
While the homicide news was expected, at least we’ve taken the step forward of learning this was, in fact, a violent crime despite the original lack of evidence. We’re sure that will help investigators going forward.