Mom Says Influencer Found Dead Along Tx. Roadside Was 'Lovely, Outstanding Human Being'
Authorities are investigating whether Alexis Sharkey was murdered after her body was found in some bushes along a Houston road
The mother of slain Instagram influencer Alexis Sharkey is speaking out, saying her daughter was an exceptional young woman whose death has devastated her entire family.
"I want people to truly remember her as someone who was loving, and generous, and so full of light and joy," her mother, Stacey Robinault, tells PEOPLE in the latest issue, on newsstands today. "She was a lovely, outstanding human being."
The 26-year-old Houston woman's body was found in some bushes on the side of the road on November 28, two days after she vanished. The case has not officially been classified as a homicide — although authorities acknowledge that the circumstances surrounding Sharkey's death are suspicious.
The case was recently featured on PEOPLE (the TV Show!). A clip is above.
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The cause of death wasn’t immediately apparent: Authorities said her body showed no outward signs of trauma. While final results from the autopsy are still pending, the coroner’s office says they have not ruled out foul play.
“The doctor is going to do her usual thorough exam and she will release a cause and manner of death when she is finished,” Michele Arnold, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences spokesperson, tells PEOPLE. “But we are not ruling out anything.”
Those close to Sharkey insist the vibrant young woman must have been murdered.
"A naked female in her 20s, found in the bushes," says her friend, Chealsea Turnbow. "It is definitely foul play. How is that a natural cause? There's just no way. This is something straight out of a horror film."
The case began on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when Sharkey left her apartment and vanished without a trace.
When she didn't return, her husband, Tom, began reaching out to Sharkey's friends and family members, asking them if they had seen her.
Tom Sharkey did not report his wife missing, but a friend notified police. “We are so very desperate,” her mother wrote on Facebook on November 28. “Please help us find her and bring her home.”
But the following morning — just two days after she was last seen — the family’s worst nightmare came true: A sanitation truck driver saw a pair of feet protruding from some bushes and discovered Sharkey's nude body.
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Friends tell PEOPLE that Sharkey and her husband were having marital problems, but she had not yet filed for divorce. (Tom has denied those rumors.) Internet commenters soon began pointing fingers at Tom, prompting him to defend himself on social media.
"While some of you were posting on social media helping us locate my world, others were wasting time talking about other things," he wrote on Facebook. "Basically crap talk! You all should be ashamed of yourselves! I have been assisting the deputies and making phone calls to fine [sic] out what happened to my wife. Next time, stop and think! And realize you don’t know it all!”
Police tell PEOPLE they have not eliminated anyone as a suspect, and that they don't even know she was murdered. The investigation is ongoing.
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