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Florida man arrested after decomposed body of woman, 38, found in ditch six days after she vanished

Florida man, 51, is arrested after he unwittingly gave cops surveillance footage that showed him dragging the body of a woman through his home before dumping her in a ditch

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A Florida man has been arrested after he unwittingly gave cops evidence showing him dragging a missing mother-of-two’s body through his house.

William Redden, 51, was charged with abuse of a corpse after sharing with police footage of him pulling Stephanie Lynn Shenefield, 38, towards a 12ft ditch.

Shenefield had stayed at Redden’s home in Palmetto but somehow died overnight before being reported missing two days later.

Officers asked Redden if they could see his surveillance footage and he complied but warned it did not show the inside of him home.

But cops were astounded when they found the video showed him dragging Shenefield’s lifeless body wrapped in a blanket across the floor.

Meanwhile a disturbing TikTok clip also showed him laughing in the camera as he talked about his friend’s girlfriend’s corpse.

‘An old friend just called me and told me police just called and found his girlfriend’s body.

‘I asked, what do you mean how did they find your girlfriend’s body. I don’t know because where they find it is not where I put it.’

‘Stephanie was badly decomposed,’ Wells said, adding, ‘it took us a while to identify her and notified the family,’ Sheriff Wells said 

Redden dumped the Florida woman’s decomposed body into a 12-foot-deep drainage ditch in Palmetto, Florida. 

Shenefield was last seen on June 3 in the 5300 block of 16th Street E in Bradenton, according to police.

The mother of two took an Uber to the home of William Redden at 1:20 am June 3, investigators said. Redden was an alleged drug dealer with eight convictions.

Shenefield’s friends grew very concerned when she failed to show up to a concert they planned to attend together on the night she vanished, detectives said.

They also said she also had a medical condition and recently demonstrated worrisome behavior.

She was reported missing by her mother who said the family ‘knew something was wrong’ when they had not heard from her.

Shenefield’s digital devices led police to the home of Redden. He was allegedly pictured on his home security camera carrying her out of his home into his car.

Two people found Shenefield’s badly decomposed body in a 12-foot-deep ditch in Palmetto near railroad tracks.

Family and friends began posting fliers that offered a reward around town, a report said

William Redden was arrested on Thursday and charged with abuse of a corpse, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of an altered firearm

Redden was arrested on Thursday and charged with abuse of a corpse, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of an altered firearm.

Police said Shenefield’s cause of death is still unknown.

Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said Shenefield died inside the house and Redden allegedly disposed of her body instead of calling for help.

He said: ‘The family knew that something was wrong. This was totally out of character for Stephanie’.

Investigators said Redden initially cooperated with police, allowing them to search his house.

They added that after they found footage of him carrying what they believed to be a body out of his house from his surveillance camera, Redden no longer cooperated.

‘Sometime during the night, Stephanie dies inside that residence. We do not know the cause of death,’ Sheriff Wells said.

‘But what we do – is that William Redden does nothing about it. He doesn’t call 911. He doesn’t call authorities. He doesn’t call anyone.’

Redden remains in custody after being arraigned and is on a $108,000 bond.

Police allege that the footage showed Redden dragging what appears to be a body wrapped in a sheet into the backseat of his car before driving off at about 12:20pm.

Family and friends began posting fliers that offered a reward around town, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Stephanie Lynn Shenefield, 38, was found in a drainage ditch in Palmetto, Florida after a search was sparked by her June 3 disappearance in Bradenton

Shenefield’s roommate helped investigators track her last known whereabouts after being able to get into her computer, according to Sheriff Rick Wells. The victim’s account showed her latest activity was an Uber ride to the home of 51-year-old William Redden at 1:20 am June 3

Sheriff Wells said: ‘With the help of Shenefield’s roommate, detectives were able to access her laptop and discovered she had taken an Uber in the early hours of June 3 to the home of William Redden.’

Authorities then began tracking her electronic devices in an attempt to locate her body.

That’s when they got a call from two Palmetto residents, who were out walking their dogs on Thursday, and spotted a body in a drainage ditch in a field.

‘Stephanie was badly decomposed,’ Wells said, adding, ‘it took us a while to identify her and notified the family.’

Shenefield’s friend of 10 years, Jennifer Massrock, told Spectrum News of her shock at the news.

‘He deserves whatever he gets,’ Massrock said. ‘We’re going to get justice for Stephanie.’

On Friday, an autopsy was performed to determine a cause and manner of death, sheriff’s office spokesman Randy Warren said.

 Redden remains in Manatee County Jail.

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