Texas police have collected surveillance footage from cameras located near to where the naked body of an Instagram influencer, 26, was discovered at the weekend, as her friends postpone a vigil due to ‘changing circumstances’.
Alexis Sharkey’s body was found ‘with no visible signs of injury’ by a city worker at the side of a road in Houston on Saturday, less than 24 hours after she went missing.
Her death remains a mystery with Texas officials saying a preliminary autopsy did not rule out foul play.
Investigators are looking in to her personal life, with friends saying she feared for her life and was divorcing her husband of a year Tom, 49.
Tom has denied the claims saying she was ‘stressed and unhappy’ while Sharkey’s mom said she is convinced her daughter was murdered.
Her grieving sister said Thursday she also believes her sibling was killed, as she spoke out to say Sharkey ‘hated’ being known as an ‘influencer’.
A photo, believed to be the last known image of Alexis, right, shows her smiling with friends
The vigil for the Instagram influencer, 26, whose naked body was found by the side of a Texas road at the weekend has been postponed due to ‘changing circumstances’, her friend wrote on social media
Houston police have been gathering video evidence from the area where the 26-year-old’s body was found as they try to piece together the events leading up to her death.
Footage from a surveillance camera outside local beauty salon Jenry Kelley Cosmetics – Memorial West has been seized by cops as part of their investigation, staff members told Fox 26.
They said the camera faced on to Red Haw Lane just yards from where Sharkey was found dead Saturday.
The location is also just minutes from the home Sharkey shared with her husband, the outlet reported.
While police gather footage from the scene, Sharkey’s friends postponed a celebration of life planned for Thursday evening.
Her friend Ally Cale, who spoke out this week to insist her friend had ‘no demons’, said in a Facebook post Tuesday that the event was on hold.
She cited ‘changing circumstances’, although she did not elaborate on what that meant.
‘Due to changing circumstances we are postponing Lexi’s celebration of life,’ the social media post read.
‘We appreciate the outpour of love and support you have shown her and ask for continued respect at this time. Keep sharing. Keep making noise. Keep fighting for Alexis. #justiceforalexis’
Cale did not disclose what spurred the change in plans or when the vigil will go ahead.
It had been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Buffalo Bayou Park.
Sharkey’s sister Tobi Robinault said her sibling would have wanted to be remembered as ‘a smart, savvy, successful businesswoman’ and not as an ‘influencer’.
She told ABC13 Thursday Sharkey, who had more than 21,000 followers on Instagram, ‘hated’ the term.
‘She actually hated that word. She wasn’t an ‘influencer,’ said Robinault.
‘She wasn’t trying to influence anything. She was a smart, savvy, successful businesswoman. That’s how I want everyone to remember her.’
Robinault also told the outlet she believes her sister was murdered but did not say who by.
Alexis Sharkey was found ‘with no visible signs of injury’ by city workers in Houston on Saturday, less than 24 hours after she went missing
Her death remains a mystery with Texas officials saying a preliminary autopsy did not rule out foul play. The spotlight is very much being shone on her personal life with friends saying she feared for her life and was divorcing her husband of a year Tom, 49 (pictured together)
‘I have this terrible feeling that it was foul play. It hurts me so much,’ she said.
‘She was such a fun, happy person. Who had so much anger in them that they could do this to her?’
It is now one week on from the last time Sharkey was seen alive and there have been no arrests in connection to her death and her cause of death is yet to be determined.
A preliminary autopsy did not rule out the possibility of foul play, a spokesperson for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences told People this week and further testing is being carried out.
Sharkey disappeared on Black Friday after she reportedly left her home following an argument with her husband.
The next morning, her naked body was found by a city public works employee in some bushes along Red Haw Lane, Houston, who spotted her bare feet sticking out.
Authorities said her body was naked and showed no obvious signs of injury or trauma.
Tom Sharkey (left), 49, says he has been getting death threats after the naked body of his wife, Instagram influencer Alexis Sharkey (seen right with Tom), 26, was found on the side of a Houston road on Saturday
Tom has denied claims his wife was divorcing him saying she was ‘stressed and unhappy’ while Sharkey’s mom said she is convinced her daughter was murdered
Medical experts said investigators will be looking for clues to her mysterious death through toxicology tests, DNA tests and evidence from the scene where her body was found.
Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist who investigated the death of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, told Fox it is not unusual for medics to not rule out foul play if a cause of death is not yet determined and when the death is not deemed natural.
He said the further studies following the preliminary autopsy will more than likely be toxicology tests to determine if Sharkey had taken any drugs – willingly or unwillingly – in the lead-up to her death.
‘The toxicology exam is to find any kinds of drugs that are in the body, whether it is alcohol in the body, which she may have taken or somebody may have forced on her, but also whether there are other drugs… rape drugs that would put people in a defenseless position,’ Baden said.
‘Whether drugs in any way contributed to her death would be important, and whether that was the cause of death.’
Baden said experts will also be looking for any evidence of sexual assault and for any fingerprints or DNA evidence on her body or at the scene to identify a potential suspect.
Alexis Sharkey, 26, was found ‘with no visible signs of injury’ by city workers in Houston on Saturday after they spotted feet in bushes, pictured
Authorities will also need to determine if she died at the scene or died somewhere else and her body was moved to the dump site, he said.
Baden told Fox he believes – due to the fact she was found naked – it is likely Sharkey’s body was taken to the area.
‘Houston police would have looked very carefully in the bushes’ for evidence of how she got there,’ Baden said.
‘And whoever did it may have left something behind at the scene, whether it’s shoe prints, whether tire tracks, whether it’s pieces of clothing that got pulled off when they’re going into the bushes.’
Baden is not involved in Sharkey’s case.
A Houston Police Department spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy that they expect will shed more light on how Alexis died.
Police are said to be looking into her marriage and her home life in the weeks before her death as people close to her give conflicting accounts of her personal life and state of mind.
Her friends said she confided in them on a recent trip to Mexico that she feared for her life as they said they believe she was murdered.
Lauren Breaux, Ally Cale, and Courtney Ehninger on Wednesday told ABC17: ‘She had no demons. She didn’t have demons and I know that is what people are speculating and that’s not what it was.
‘She was literally one of the people that I think had the most life in her.’
A celebration of life for Sharkey planned for Thursday evening was postponed this week, with her friend Ally Cale citing ‘changing circumstances’. Cale, who spoke out this week to insist her friend had ‘no demons’, said in a Facebook post Tuesday that the event was on hold
Sharkey’s friends did not disclose what spurred the change in plans or when the vigil will go ahead
Sharkey’s sister Tobi Robinault said her sibling would have wanted to be remembered as ‘a smart, savvy, successful businesswoman’ and not as an ‘influencer’ (Sharkey second right)
Breaux said: ‘We don’t know what happened. We obviously have had ideas. We believe she was murdered, absolutely.
‘I’m going to be honest, she confided in me about how worried she was for her safety when we went to Marfa, Texas almost a month ago.
‘We were sitting down at dinner and she lost it. We walked back to our hotel room and she confided in me that night in things. I looked at her [and thought], ‘She’s petrified. This girl is scared for her life.”
The friends declined to say who it was that Alexis was scared of in the weeks before her death.
One friend, Tanya Ricardo, who had spent Thanksgiving with Alexis, told Khou ‘divorce was being filed’.
But Sharkey’s husband denied that claim and told KTRK-TV on Tuesday that she was not the outgoing, bubbly person that she appeared to be on social media, calling her ‘stressed and unhappy’.
‘She wasn’t happy. She was stressed. I would cuddle her to try to make her strong. She was an amazing woman,’ said Tom.
‘My wife was an amazing woman. She really was. There’s always other sides to everything. I was the one holding her, cuddling her, and building her back up.’
Tom added: ‘I don’t need to set the record straight. I’ll let it play out the way it is. I know what my life was with my wife.’
Alexis’ mom Stacey Robinault had earlier said her daughter ‘had an argument’ shortly before she went missing but it is not clear who with.
She maintains that her daughter’s death ‘is absolutely foul play’, adding: ‘There is nothing to me that suggests that this was an accident.’
Sharkey, who had more than 21,000 followers on Instagram, ‘hated’ the term ‘influencer’ her sister said. ‘She was a smart, savvy, successful businesswoman. That’s how I want everyone to remember her’
Alexis’ mom Stacey Clark Robinault told Click2Houston her death ‘is absolutely foul play’, adding: ‘There is nothing to me that suggests that this was an accident’
Robinault said: ‘The way in which she was found, my child would never do that to herself. And there’s nothing to me that suggests anything else, other than that this was done to her. And I believe that in my mother’s gut.’
She told ABC13: ‘I do believe she was murdered.’
Tom denied that he argued with his wife the last time they saw each other. He said that just before she disappeared, he urged his wife not to leave their home as she was ‘under the influence,’ though he did not elaborate.
‘We didn’t fight when she left,’ he said.
‘I just told her she couldn’t drive under the influence. She left anyhow. This is where we’re at.’
The intense media scrutiny of the case has led people on social media to speculate that Tom was involved in his wife’s death, which he has denied.
‘It’s horrible,’ he said. ‘People are talking tons of crap. I’m getting death threats and stuff.
A friend of Alexis who had been on the vacation to Marfa with Alexis had told The Daily Beast: ‘Throughout the trip, he [Tom] was sending really awful, nasty messages to her.
‘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”.’
Two other friends also told The Daily Beast that Alexis complained that her husband hit her and was ‘controlling and manipulative.’
Alexis’ friends said that her behavior changed recently as she was posting less on social media. They also said she wanted to be around her friends more often so as to ‘avoid going home.’
Now one week on from the last time Sharkey was seen alive and there have been no arrests in connection to her death and cause of death has not been determined. A forensic pathologist not connected to the case said toxicology tests will be carried out to test if she had taken any drugs – either willingly or unwillingly
‘I know they were going through some things,’ one of Alexis’ friends, Kendra Martin, told The Daily Beast.
‘She had mentioned being separated even though they were still living in the same apartment.
‘I actually pulled her aside two weeks ago to let her know I’m here for her, and that I know something is going on because her demeanor had changed over the last month.’
Alexis spent Thanksgiving with her friend, Tanya Ricardo, who said that she had a great time with her family playing board games and laughing.
A photo, reported by KHOU to be one of the last known images of Alexis before her death, shows her smiling as she celebrated the holiday with her friends.
Ricardo said of her death: ‘I mean, just threw her on the side of the road, naked, like garbage. I just, I don’t get it. No one gets away with something like this. No one.
‘I don’t know who could have done something like this to her. Whoever did this, we’re going to find them. We’re going to do everything it takes. So, everyone can put her to rest in peace.’
— to www.dailymail.co.uk