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A Texas man is charged with killing his ex-girlfriend and leaving her body to be found by her 5-year-old daughter.
Shereena Ann Webster, 36, was found dead in her Amarillo home on Athens Street on Aug. 18, according to ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA. Her former boyfriend, Erik Mitchell Rivas, was quickly named as a suspect in the fatal shooting, prompting a multi-county search that ended with Rivas’ arrest later that day.
Webster’s 5-year-old daughter reportedly found her mother dead shortly after 5:00 a.m., according to court records obtained by Austin’s CBS affiliate KEYE-TV. The child then called her maternal grandmother, Patricia Byington, who called the police.
Responders found Webster dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Rivas came onto investigators’ radar after one of Webster’s neighbors provided them with a home surveillance video, which reportedly captured Rivas driving to Webster's home at around 3:00 a.m. The same person also told authorities the vehicle was still there at 4:15 a.m., per KEYE-TV.
Amarillo police also noted footprints in the backyard and a ladder leaning against Webster’s fence, which was locked. According to the affidavit, investigators traced the ladder back to Rivas.
Officials issued a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) for Rivas after initially being unable to locate him, according to WFAA. ABC Amarillo affiliate KVII reported Amarillo Police enlisted the help of the Texas Rangers, according to the Texas Department of Safety (DPS).
Searchers believed that Rivas had traveling to the Dallas-Fort Worth area but did not say how they came to that conclusion.
“With the assistance of Texas Highway Patrol troopers, DPS aircraft, Fort Worth Police, and Dallas Police, Rivas was located in the DeSoto area and arrested without incident,” the DPS reported. (DeSoto is a suburb of Dallas.)
Investigators say Webster and Rivas were romantically involved for several years but that Webster broke things off to see other people, according to KEYE-TV. Webster’s mother claimed her daughter was “scheduled to leave town on or about Aug. 19 to meet [a] romantic interest in Colorado.”
Webster spent 10 years as a teacher at Oak Dale Elementary School and also worked at South Georgia Elementary, according to her obituary. She had recently accepted a position as a “high impact tutoring learning leader” for Region 16.
Webster was also the recipient of the “Teachers on the Rise” award in 2015, presented by Mrs. Baird’s Bread for educators who go above and beyond their duties, according to KVII.
Her obituary describes Webster’s relationship with her 5-year-old daughter, saying Webster will always live through her daughter, “and that’s a promise.”
“Shereena was well-known, respected and loved by all who knew her. Specifically known for her beauty, her smile, her laugh and her beautiful big heart for anyone and everyone,” her obituary reads. “‘You have to be kind’ was her favorite phrase to use with her daughter, nieces and nephews.”
Jail records show Rivas was booked into the Randall County Jail on murder charges, where he remains on $1 million bail.
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