A Florida man was arrested and charged with abuse of a corpse after unwittingly handing cops footage that showed him dragging a lifeless body through his house.
William Redden, 51, gave police DVRs from surveillance cameras on the interior and exterior of his property, believing he only had a 'live monitoring' system running on the inside of his house.
Instead he handed detectives footage showing the final moments of Stephanie Shenefield's life.
Redden had allegedly wrapped the corpse of the mother-of-two in a sheet before dragging her to his car and driving to a ditch, where he tossed her remains, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The 38-year-old took an Uber to the alleged drug dealer's house at 1:20 a.m. on Friday, June 3, investigators said.
Investigators believe that Shenefield died at some point during the night and Redden disposed of the body instead of calling for help.
“William Redden does nothing about it,” Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said at a press conference aired on WTSP Tampa Bay 10.
“He doesn’t call 911, he doesn’t call authorities, he doesn’t call anyone.”
Redden told detectives that Shenefield stayed at his house that night — but left the next morning.
However, when detectives asked Redden if they could take the surveillance DVRs, he complied and unknowingly provided them with the final moments of Shenefield’s life, and provided hints as to how her body ended up in a ditch in Palmetto.
“He tells them they do not record inside the residence. He was wrong,” Wells said.
“Thankfully he’s ignorant and didn’t know that. Because it worked for us.”
The detectives verified through the video footage that Shenefield was at Redden’s home in Palmetto and died there during the night, however, they have not yet determined the cause of death.
Shenefield’s 'badly decomposed' body was found in a 12-foot-deep drainage ditch near railroad tracks on June 9 by two people walking their dog, according to the sheriff’s office.
She was reported missing after Sunday, June 5, when she didn’t show up for work and also had missed a concert Friday evening.
Wells said: “William Redden is a piece of crap, that’s what he is.
"He had the opportunity to call law enforcement, to call 911, to try to save her.
“He could have done a lot of things, but that’s not his character,” he added.
“The only thing he thought of was trying to get rid of the evidence that was in his car – that was a human being; that was someone that was truly loved in this community.”
Redden was charged with abuse of a corpse, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of an altered firearm.
The sheriff said he expects additional charges to be brought against the eight-time felon throughout the investigation.
“We will continue to investigate this, but we want you to know that our hearts break for the family of Stephanie,” Wells said.
Redden is being held at the Manatee County Jail on $108,000 bond.
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