2 suspects charged with murder after body found in Charlotte County

Reporter: Justin Kase, Asha Patel Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

Two people accused of killing a man after luring him into the woods faced a judge on Friday.

One of the two accused, Melissa Demetrowitz, is being held without bond, and her arraignment is scheduled for July 17. However, Andrew Smith will be called back on Saturday because the attorney representing him was the same as Demetrowitz, so the attorney said he couldn’t represent Smith due to a conflict of interest.

Both are charged in the murder of a man whose body was found dumped by Palm Fronds.

The victim was found in September 2022, and Demetrowitz and Smith were charged with his murder Thursday.

The state attorney said Smith and Demetrowitz conspired to kill Shawn Patrick Armstrong, 49, in Charlotte County back in September.

Investigators learned the two suspects lured Armstrong to Southern Charlotte County, where they are accused of shooting him to death before driving his body away.

Armstrong was believed to have been murdered on or near September 13, 2022. Two days later, the two suspects were pulled over driving Armstrong’s pickup truck in Charlotte County.

Neighbors in the area have been wondering if they would ever learn why a body riddled with gunshot wounds was found near their homes. Finally, they’re getting answers.

WINK News went to Armstrong’s last known address and spoke with the woman who purchased the home from Armstrong.

She didn’t know him well, but she feels for his mother who lived across the street before moving out of state.

“I do feel very bad for his mother. I feel bad for the fact that he ended up in the situation he did. Nobody deserves that,” said the woman.

“Anybody that loses a child, regardless of the age, it’s heartbreaking,” she said.

“Forensic evidence could be a gold mine here. They’ve got the truck. They would have searched the truck,” Rich Kolko, safety and security specialist, said. “If they transported the body in there, there’s going to be evidence there.”

Kolko said investigators will be able to tell when the suspects were with Armstrong to help build a timeline.

“Electronic information… people always use their cell phones… tracking where cell phones went. How did these three people communicate amongst themselves?” Kolko said, “so based on those several things, they’ll put that together. They’ll have a pretty solid case.”

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