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An Instagram influencer whose nude body was found on the side of a Houston roadway was strangled to death, authorities have confirmed.
A solid waste department supervisor discovered the body of Alexis Sharkey, 26, in some brush along a road in November, after a garbage truck driver called him to report seeing a possible body.
Now, months later, investigators have determined that she died by strangulation.
“The manner is homicide,” a public information officer for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences told Oxygen.com over email.
Houston Police originally said there had been “no visible wounds” to the body when it was discovered, according to a previous statement from the department.
No persons of interest or suspects have been named.
John Richardson, the man who discovered her body, told local station KTRK last month that it appeared like Sharkey’s body had been washed.
“It’s like she just got out of the tub,” he said. “Her body was clean. There was nothing on her body.”
Sharkey had more than 20,000 followers on her Instagram account, where she appeared to work in beauty and skin care, before her death. Her friends remember her as full of life.
“She was just like the light of the room,” her friend Brittney Pember told local outlet KHOU. “She was just so smart and so funny.”
Tanya Ricardo, a close friend, told KHOU that Sharkey had celebrated Thanksgiving at her house just days earlier. The friends had made plans to watch movies together on Saturday, Nov. 28, but Ricardo became concerned after she was unable to reach her friend.
Late last month, Sharkey’s loved ones held a private viewing in Pennsylvania to remember the 26-year-old, but one notable person—husband Tom Sharkey—was absent from the service, according to KTRK.
Sharkey’s friend Ally Cale told the outlet that Tom Sharkey had not been invited to attend.
“Her family didn’t invite him,” she said. “They didn’t want him there. That’s why it was kept so secret, so he wouldn’t get word about what was going on.”
Sharkey’s friends have described a volatile relationship between Alexis and Tom Sharkey and said that Alexis had been planning to get a divorce before her death.
However, Tom Sharkey appeared to dispute the claims of trouble between the pair, describing the couple as having a happy marriage in an earlier interview with KTRK.
“I don’t need to set the record straight,” he told the outlet. “I’ll let it play out the way it is. I know what my life was with my wife.”
He said his wife had been “stressed” before her death and that he had been “the one holding her, cuddling her, and building her back up.”
Tom Sharkey said he had been “destroyed” by her death and was cooperating with homicide detectives looking into his wife’s case.
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