A 51-year-old Florida man is in custody after he accidentally implicated himself in a missing-persons case.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, William Redden has been charged with abusing the corpse of 38-year-old Stephanie Lynn Shenefield, who was reported missing earlier this month.
Police said Shenefield was last seen on June 3 in Bradenton, Florida. At 1:20 am on that day, she reportedly took an Uber to Redden’s home in Palmetto, Florida, which is across the river from Bradenton.
Manatee County Sheriff spokesperson Randy Warren told the Daily Mail that Redden is a “known drug dealer,” and he had eight prior criminal convictions.
When Shenefield did not attend a concert she had planned to enjoy with her friends on the night she went missing, they became worried for her safety. They told detectives she had a known medical condition and had been acting out of the ordinary.
Two days after she was last seen, Shenefield’s mother reported her missing to the police. She said she “knew something was wrong” because she had not heard from her daughter, the Daily Mail reported.
After tracking Shenefield’s devices, police came upon Redden’s home. Meanwhile, two people found Shenefield’s corpse in a 12-foot ditch near the Palmetto railroad tracks.
When police arrived at Redden’s home, they requested to see the surveillance footage from his house. Redden handed over the footage and said it did not show the inside of the house, the Daily Mail reported.
Man arrested after giving cops video he didn’t know showed him dragging dead woman’s body, William Redden, 51, allegedly wrapped the dead body of Stephanie Shenefield 38, in a sheet & dragged it to his car, then transported it to a ditch where he threw it, according to Manatee pic.twitter.com/PhNgVFnWtp
— Sumner (@renmusb1) June 14, 2022
But when officers played the video, they allegedly saw Redden “dragging Shenefield’s lifeless body wrapped in a blanket across the floor.”
Police subsequently arrested Redden and charged him with abuse of a corpse, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of an altered firearm, the Daily Mail reported. As of Monday, they had not determined a cause of death.
“It is a death investigation,” Warren said. “The autopsy showed there are no signs of trauma.
“We are waiting on the toxicology report which will determine if there were any drugs in [Shenefield’s] system and possibly an accidental overdose.”
Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said Shenefield died in an unknown manner inside the house, and Redden chose to dispose of the body rather than contacting the police.
“Sometime during the night, Stephanie dies inside that residence,” Wells told the Daily Mail. “We do not know the cause of death.”
“But what we do – is that William Redden does nothing about it. He doesn’t call 911. He doesn’t call authorities. He doesn’t call anyone.”
Police said Redden initially cooperated with them and allowed them to search his house, but his attitude changed after he accidentally gave them footage of himself carrying what appeared to be a body out of his house and into his car.
Following his arrest, Redden was being held on a $108,000 bond, the Daily Mail reported. He was still in the Manatee County Jail as of Monday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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