Missing Woman’s Remains Found on Front Porch

On June 29, 2023, Heather Sheppard went missing without any evidence of activity, and little trace was left behind. Her girlfriend, Shannon McCarthy, had been charged with battering her back in January of that year.

A week later, the Westside Jacksonville home was surrounded by crime scene tape. Human remains in an advanced state of decomposition were found on the porch, sparking alarm in the neighborhood. Distraught and sorrowful, Bonnie Sheppard, Heather’s daughter, sadly confirmed that the skeletal remains belonged to her mother.

The family said that their last sighting of Heather Sheppard was on Colonial Avenue, the Thursday prior to the discovery. Her phone was switched off, and her credit cards were gone, whilst stained shoes belonging to her were found in McCarthy’s home along with Heather’s truck which had a bullet hole in it.

Police stated that McCarthy had been in a committed relationship with Heather Sheppard since November 2022 and was arrested in January for the battering charges. Following the news of Heather’s death, the judge revoked McCarthy’s bond in the domestic battery case due to ‘the horrific tragedy of the victim been found deceased.’

Though law enforcement has not officially linked the human remains to Sheppard, they are treating the incident as a death investigation and have not ruled out the possibility of foul play.

This incident, and those like it, serve as a solemn reminder of the risk of domestic violence and to take all allegations seriously. Furthermore, the heartbreaking circumstances of Heather Sheppard’s disappearance and death should prompt victims of violence to recognize they do not have to suffer in silence and to seek the help they need to move forward.