Almost a year after the death of an influencer whose naked body was dumped on a road, police moved in on a suspect with grim results.
The husband of murdered Instagram influencer Alexis Sharkey was found dead from an apparent suicide on Wednesday, cops revealed.
Tom Sharkey was wanted in the US state of Texas for the murder of his wife after Alexis, 26, was found naked and strangled to death in November 2020.
Her body was dumped at the side of a road in Houston and found by a city worker.
Tom’s body was found at a home he was staying at in Fort Myers, Florida, shortly after 1am on Wednesday morning, according to KHOU.
He had a single gunshot wound to the head.
Tom was reportedly staying with his daughter and her boyfriend at the time of his death.
When US Marshals knocked on the door and identified themselves, the daughter and boyfriend came out from the house.
Police said Tom killed himself as Marshals asked to speak to him. His body was found during a subsequent search of the home.
Homicide investigator Michael Burrow confirmed that Tom was wanted in connection to his wife’s murder at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Burrow said Tom learned of the warrant for his arrest when Marshals knocked on his door.
He said investigators do not believe anyone else was involved in Alexis’ death and Tom acted alone because he was the only person with a motive.
The warrant was granted on September 29 in Harris County, Texas. A fugitive task force was brought in to locate Tom after it was determined he was not in the area.
Asked whether police should have taken Tom into custody sooner, Burrow insisted that the case was handled correctly.
He also said Tom’s family did not appear to be aware of his alleged involvement in Alexis’ death.
Alexis’ last day
Alexis and Tom had moved to Houston the year before her death.
She was last seen the day after going missing during US Thanksgiving weekend last year.
Friends had last heard from her at around 6pm the day after Thanksgiving Thursday, and after that phone calls began going straight to her voicemail.
Tom called for the public’s help in finding her when she disappeared.
“My world! My everything! I’m so lost right now! My one and only!” he wrote.
Her body was found on November 28 a few miles from her home.
The influencer – who had 21,000 followers on Instagram – had no visible injuries.
But examinations ruled the death a homicide after it was determined Alexis had been strangled to death in January.
After her untimely death, several people close to Alexis have told local media outlets that she was in an abusive marriage.
Reports of abuse
Alexis had allegedly told friends during a trip in early November that Tom was abusing her, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
She apparently also claimed she was divorcing him.
“Throughout the trip, he was sending really awful, nasty messages to her,” a friend told the publication.
“But one night when she and I were talking alone she said, ‘He strangles me and chokes me out and I blackout and wake up on the bathroom floor every single time.’”
Another two friends claimed that on the day his wife disappeared, Tom had been arguing with her before she “hopped over their patio fence and into a car”.
Local reports suggest that Alexis did not leave in her vehicle.
Her husband denied any marital problems, saying he was co-operating with detectives and felt confident police are “going to find everyone that was involved”.
Tom denied having an argument with Alexis before she disappeared and claimed he was receiving death threats as her Instagram clout grew.
While denying the fight, Tom told the outlet: “There are always other sides to everything.
“I don’t need to set the record straight,” he said. “I’ll let it play out the way it is. I know what my life was with my wife.”
He also claimed that his wife had been unhappy.
“She wasn’t happy. She was stressed. I would cuddle her to try to make her strong,” Tom told ABC13 on December 2, 2020.
Family argued with Tom
It is unclear when Tom became wanted for the murder and when he moved away from Houston.
He had not been charged.
Alexis’ Instagram account, which has now been memorialised, included pictures of her and Tom alongside her influencer pictures.
One photo posted on July 3 last year is captioned: “I love this man.”
Tom posted a string of photos on social media after his wife, who he married in December 2019, was found dead, calling her “the most amazing woman.”
Alexis’ mum also revealed last year it took two weeks before Tom allowed her to see the body.
Stacey Robinault said she told her son-in-law 49, that she wanted to bring Alexis’ body home to Pennsylvania.
“As her husband, he would have primary custody of what determined what happened with her, and he had said all along that he was willing to let her come home,” she told local news station KRIV.
Robinault said Tom cut off communication and eventually, the medical examiner made her the next of kin.
“I didn’t think I was gonna get her, and I had actually given up hope, when all of the sudden the forensics lab called me,” Robinault said.
“It just was a very strange – I’d almost call it ‘fight’ to get her.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission