As a follow-up in the investigation, on July 5 shortly after 3 p.m., Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Missing Person detectives responded to the 5300 block of Colonial Avenue and found remains in an "advanced state of decomposition."
Neighbors told WJXT they could smell a strong, foul odor in the area days before the discovery.
Officials performed an autopsy and confirmed the remains were Sheppard’s.
The Sheriff’s Office identified Shannon McCarthy as the primary suspect and arrested her July 18 on a charge of murder.
According to WJXT, an arrest report from earlier this year lists the victim as McCarthy’s domestic partner, and social media posts show they were in a relationship. Sheppard has reportedly stayed at the residence where the remains were discovered.
WJXT reports that the victim and suspect have a history of domestic violence. In January, McCarthy was reportedly charged with battery against Sheppard, and she was scheduled to appear in court later this month for the case.
In early February, Sheppard also allegedly told the Sheriff’s Office that McCarthy sent her threatening text messages, and she sustained head injuries after McCarthy allegedly assaulted her on Jan. 29. McCarthy was reportedly set to appear in court for that case this month but did not show up due to an unspecified illness.