A 21-year-old woman faces murder charges nine months after her boyfriend was found naked with his throat slashed in a forest.
Megan Shaffer, of Carpendale, West Virginia, was charged on Thursday with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assisted suicide in the death of her 24-year-old boyfriend Alexander Stevens, court records show.
Stevens, of Frostburg, was found in the Savage River State Forest with a cat in a cage nearby, The Cumberland Times-News reports.
Shaffer originally claimed that Stevens had fallen to his death off a cliff.
Stevens’ death was ruled a homicide in March and Garret County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch announced the charges against Shaffer at a Thursday news conference, according to the newspaper.
Shaffer and Stevens were reported missing in the forest on Jan. 4, Welch said, according to the Times-News.
“While efforts were underway by Natural Resources Police and other emergency responders to locate the pair, Shaffer made a ‘911’ call to authorities to provider her location,” Welch reportedly added in the statement.
“With the assistance of the MSP helicopter, Stevens’s body was located in the State Forest a short while later.”
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Shaffer told authorities that she and Stevens hiked to an overlook in the forest on the night of Jan. 3 and claimed that Stevens fell from the cliff, the Associated Press reports. She told police that she thought Stevens died after the 33-foot fall and she left him there.
Stevens was found with several broken bones, but his throat had been deeply cut more than once, according to the AP.
Stevens’ father, Jay, told police that although his son had been acting differently in recent years, he didn’t think Stevens was suicidal.
“He’d grown his hair longer, was reading about religions, thinking about his place in society,” Jay said, according to the AP, which cited court records. “I never, never, ever, ever thought that he was suicidal. I know my son. He had all these plans to do things.
Stevens opened a “transfer on death” account to Shaffer of more than $188,000, the AP reports. Stevens’ father was able to stop the transfer with a judge’s approval.
Shaffer’s attorney, Stephen Tully, did not immediately respond to a request for comment form PEOPLE. She is being held at the Garrett County Detention Center and it is unclear whether she has entered a plea.