The mother of Instagram influencer Alexis Sharkey is sharing how her family is devastated after the loss of her vibrant daughter.
“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. “She was a lovely, outstanding human being.”
The 26-year-old’s body was discovered on the side of the road in some bushes on November 28, only two days after she disappeared. And while the case has not officially been classified as a homicide, authorities acknowledge the odd circumstances surrounding Sharkey’s death.
The cause of death was not clear, as authorities said her body showed no outward signs of trauma. And while the 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 she was 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.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the case began — when Sharkey left her apartment and did not return.
Her husband, Tom Sharkey, then began reaching out to Sharkey’s friends and family members, asking them if they had seen her.
Tom did not report his wife missing, but a friend notified police. “We are so very desperate,” her mother posted to Facebook on November 28. “Please help us find her and bring her home.”
But just two days after she was last seen —- a sanitation truck driver noticed a pair of feet sticking out from some bushes and located Sharkey’s nude body.
Friends revealed to PEOPLE how Sharkey and her husband were having marital problems, but she had not yet filed for divorce. Tom has since denied those rumors and defended 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 have not eliminated anyone as a suspect and they are not positive she was murdered. The investigation is ongoing.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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