Houston, TX – The husband of a 26-year-old Instagram influencer who was found strangled to death on the side of a road shortly after Thanksgiving last year shot himself in the head when police tried to arrest him for her murder on Tuesday.
Family members said Alexis Sharkey, a Pennsylvania native who was an executive director with hair and skincare company Monat, was last seen alive one day after Thanksgiving of 2020, WPVI reported.
A Houston public works employee stumbled across her naked body in the 1000-block of Red Haw near the I-10 Katy Freeway and Eldridge Parkway on Nov. 28 after seeing feet sticking out of the bushes along the roadway, according to FOX News.
Her husband, 50-year-old Tom Sharkey, took to social media shortly after his wife’s body was found, WPVI reported.
“My world! My everything!” he wrote. “I’m so lost right now! My one and only!”
Tom Sharkey met with reporters in the days and weeks that followed, claiming they had a good relationship but that Alexis Sharkey was “stressed” and “wasn’t happy,” WPVI reported.
“She wasn’t happy. She was stressed. I would cuddle her to try to make her strong,” he said during one interview on Dec. 2, 2020. “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.”
Tom Sharkey said he warned Alexis Sharkey not to drive while intoxicated the last time he spoke to her.
“She understood me. I understood her. We didn’t fight when she left. I just told her she couldn’t drive under the influence,” he claimed, according to WPVI. “She left anyhow. This is where we’re at.”
But on Jan. 19, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences announced Alexis Sharkey was the victim of a homicide by strangulation.
Tom Sharkey was not initially charged in connection with her murder, Alexis Sharkey’s friends and family members were vocal about the couple’s fights and marital discord, FOX News reported.
According to police, Tom Sharkey was “evasive” during the investigation and brought up other potential suspects in an attempt to divert attention away from himself, KHOU reported.
Approximately two weeks after his wife’s murder, Tom Sharkey left Texas and repeatedly dodged investigators’ attempts to gather a DNA sample from him, police said.
While residing in Georgia in early August, Tom Sharkey finally said he would meet with detectives to provide a DNA sample, but he never showed up, KHOU reported.
“He came up with a very bizarre story later on about why he essentially disappeared and then a short time after that incident, he relocated to Florida,” a police spokesperson said.
By then, investigators were aware Alexis Sharkey had been talking about divorce prior to her death, and that there had been a history of domestic violence in the couple’s relationship, according to police.
Ten months after Alexis Sharkey’s body was found, a warrant was issued for Tom Sharkey’s arrest, WPVI reported.
“The investigation determined that Thomas Sharkey, her husband, is the only person who had the means, motive and opportunity to have committed the murder,” police said, according to KHOU.
A U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) fugitive task force tracked him to his daughter’s home in Fort Myers, Florida and moved in to take him into custody at approximately 10 p.m. on Tuesday, KHOU reported.
When Tom Sharkey realized investigators were there for him, he ran upstairs and fatally shot himself in the head, according to police.
Investigators said Tom Sharkey and his family did not know about the warrant prior to the USMS arriving at the home, and that they had intended to formally charge him with Alexis Sharkey’s murder back in Harris County, KHOU reported.