A man wanted in connection to the death of his wife and social media star Alexis Sharkey (Robinault) has been found dead of apparent suicide.
Marshals confirmed to WINK News, that Sharkey was wanted for his wife’s murder and was staying with his daughter in south Fort Myers.
The death of the Houston social media star had been ruled a homicide back in January, two months after her body was found in roadside bushes.
Alexis Sharkey, 26, died by strangulation, though no wounds were visible on her body, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said in a statement.
A city employee found her body on Nov. 28, about 3 miles (4.83 kilometers) from her apartment. She was last seen alive the night before.
Police officials said the investigation into her death continues and no arrests have been made, according to the Houston Chronicle, in January.
“The investigation determined Thomas Sharkey, her husband, is the only person who had the means motive and opportunity to commit the murder,” said Det. Michael Burrow with Houston Police Department during a news conference. “We established there was a history of domestic violence between the two of them, and their relationship was ending, that there was a pending divorce.”
Burrow explained investigators learned there was tension between the couple.
“We have a lot of evidence that there was a separation, and that [Sharkey] was interested in reconciling the relationship, and [Alexis] did not appear to be,” Burrow said.
Alexis Sharkey, who the Chronicle reported occasionally went by her maiden name of Robinault, garnered a sizeable Instagram following by showing off beauty products. She identified herself as a “mentor” for Monat, a marketing company that sells hair and skincare products.
On Tuesday, Oct. 5, U.S. Marshals with the Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force, went to the home of her husband Tom Sharkey.
Marshals confirmed to WINK News, that Sharkey was wanted for his wife’s murder and was staying with his daughter in Fort Myers.
Law enforcement knocked on the door of the home and announcing themselves and his daughter and her boyfriend came out. That’s when marshals say Sharkey shot and killed himself inside the home.
“Mr. Sharkey avoided them, ran upstairs when he learned law enforcement was there for him and he took his own life using a firearm arm,” Burrow said. “The family of Mr. Sharkey did not know that he was wanted in the case at the time as we were able to keep the warrant secret. Mr. Sharkey also did not know he was wanted until last night when he was confronted by law enforcement.”
We spoke to a neighbor who was home when investigators appeared at the home to arrest Sharkey.
“I was laying in bed, and all of a sudden, I heard a bunch of car doors slam, bam, bam, bam,” neighbor Richard Valient explained. “I looked out here and saw a bunch of police cars. I said, ‘Oh!’ … You have no idea, and that scares the hell out of me.”
Sharkey relocated to Florida from Georgia in August. Burrow said there was no single piece of evidence that led police to him as the suspect, but rather the gradual progression of the investigation itself.
“Mr. Sharkey’s behavior and our conversations with him over time and the evolving stories and the ability to disprove stories that took time and eventually the mountain of evidence became high enough,” Burrow said. “There was alternative suspects that were presented, including people presented by Mr. Sharkey, that we had to investigate, so no, we weren’t able to move on an arrest until we were able to get to a point where we had eliminated sufficiently the other possibilities.”
Amid the investigation, the medical’s examiner’s office switched Alexis Sharkey’s next-of-kin from that of her husband to her parents. No explanation was provided.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Below are mental health resources available to Southwest Floridians at the national and local level.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
David Lawrence Center (Collier County)
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry Counties
The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a free handbook
Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers
Collier County Mental Health Court
Lee County Mental Health Court
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Local Support Groups: Anxiety and Depression Association of America
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help)
Local veterans resource: Home Base SWFL