Almost a year after Instagram influencer Alexis Sharkey was found fatally strangled in bushes near a Houston highway, her husband was found dead from an apparent suicide in Florida as authorities finally moved to arrest him in connection with his wife’s murder.
The Houston Police Department said Wednesday that Tom Sharkey, the husband of the 26-year-old Texas influencer, was found fatally shot in the head inside his daughter’s Fort Myers home just before midnight on Tuesday. He was found by Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force members who were executing an arrest warrant in connection with his wife’s murder last November.
“The investigation determined that Thomas Sharkey, her husband, was the only person who had the means, motive, and opportunity to have committed the murder,” Houston Police Sgt. Michael Burrow said during a media briefing on Wednesday, adding that they eliminated other suspects during the probe, including some that were “brought up by Mr. Sharkey.”
“We established that there was history of domestic violence between the two of them and that their relationship was ending—that there was a pending divorce,” Burrow added.
During the investigation, Sharkey’s husband “had not been truthful about certain key issues and statements that he made to police.” Eventually, Burrow said authorities had enough evidence to issue a warrant for his arrest on Sept. 29.
At approximately 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the fugitive task force was initially able to speak with Tom Sharkey but he “avoided them and ran upstairs...and he took his own life using a firearm.”
“No one else is suspected of any involvement in the case. No one else is under investigation,” Burrow added on Wednesday. “We have clear evidence that Mr. Sharkey acted alone.”
Authorities say Alexis Sharkey, who had over 87,200 Instagram followers, went missing on November 27, 2020, after spending Thanksgiving with some friends. The next morning, she was discovered by a city worker who had reportedly noticed feet coming out of some bushes just off a highway.
After a frantic two-day search for the 26-year-old—who friends say had recently expressed her desire to divorce her husband of less than a year—the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed her identity via fingerprints. In January, an autopsy report concluded that she died from strangulation and ruled it a homicide.
As previously reported by The Daily Beast, multiple friends said that Sharkey had a troubled relationship with her new husband, whom she married in December 2019.
“Her and her husband were going through a divorce,” one friend, who wished to remain anonymous, previously told The Daily Beast. Three other friends also said that Sharkey had complained about physical abuse and said Tom Sharkey could be “controlling and manipulative” in group settings.
It is not clear if Sharkey had filed any paperwork to legally dissolve her marriage.
But despite her rocky relationship, the self-described “mentor,” made a name for herself on social media, posting about her trips and interest in health and wellness. In her last post on Nov. 22, Sharkey told her followers about her wish to move to Tulum, saying she’d fallen in love with “the sinks and overall aesthetic” of the popular Mexican vacation destination. Sharkey also had about 57,900 followers on TikTok, where she spent time creating videos about hair care and fashion.
In a December interview with ABC13, however, Tom Sharkey insisted that their marriage was not in jeopardy—and tried to dispel rumors that he had anything thing to do with his wife’s disappearance. He claimed that on Nov. 27 he shared a Thanksgiving meal with his wife and that she left later that evening.
“I just told her she couldn’t drive under the influence. She left anyhow. This is where we’re at,” he told ABC13, adding that he was confident authorities are “going to find everyone that was involved.” “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.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.