PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said the body that was recovered Monday afternoon was identified Tuesday as Jennifer Sue Shepherd, age 34, whose last known address is in Franklin Furnace. She was last seen in Portsmouth by her elderly friend at 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, in the area of Murray’s Pub and the Fast Stop convenient store in Portsmouth.
The body was found floating in Pine Creek, in the Wheelersburg area. Around 3:15 p.m. Monday, two men walking west in the eastbound lane on U.S. 52 near Ohio 522, after their vehicle had broken down, spotted the body of a woman in the water near a bridge close to the Center Street exit.
“They (the two men) flagged down (Portsmouth Post Commander) Lieutenant (Mike) Gore,” Scioto County Sheriff’s Captain David Hall said. “Lieutenant Gore called the (sheriff’s) office. We responded and made contact with Porter Township, and Lieutenant Gore made contact with the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) watercraft. The watercraft officers were great about helping us, wading down into the Pine Creek with hip-waders and helping us get the body in a bag.”
Hall said the body of water where the woman’s body was found is only about 20-30 feet, so the authorities were able to wade out and retrieve the body. That body was moved to the Montgomery County morgue for an autopsy. The Sheriff’s Office later identified the body as that of Jennifer Shepherd by fingerprints and tattoo identifications. The cause of death has not been determined as the autopsy is still being conducted.
According to the Daily Times archives, Shepherd was one of 13 people arrested in a prostitution sting in July of 2011, and one of eight women arrested for solicitation in January of this year.
Hall said there have been similar cases in years past, but not in recent years.
Serial killer Darryl Walters, whose last known address was Sciotoville, was sentenced on two murder convictions by Judge William T. Marshall in October of 2008. The Scioto County convictions were for the deaths of Aleisha Frazee, 19, of 802 Harvard Place, Portsmouth, some time between Oct. 24, 2001, and Oct. 28, 2001, and Tamara Lynn Smith of 1830 Ohio Furnace Road, Franklin Furnace, killed between July 2, 2004, and October 2004. Walters was also convicted in the murder of a woman in Adams County.
Anyone with information on the Shepherd case is being asked to contact Detective Jodi Conkel at 740-354-7566.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT