HOUSTON – The last time they talked, Stacey Robinault and her Instagram star daughter, Alexis Sharkey, were planning Christmas in Pennsylvania.
“We haven’t seen her since last Christmas and that’s the longest we’ve ever gone,” Robinault said. “We were desperate to see her and excited to see her.”
Sharkey, the oldest of three sisters, grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania, graduated summa cum laude with a biology degree and planned to apply to medical school.
“Then, she took a year off, and that year knocked her onto a different path, which happens,” Robinault said.
Sharkey moved to West Texas, where she met and married Tom Sharkey and became a full-time social media influencer. They moved to Houston in January.
“She loved what she did,” Robinault said. “She had been working with an online company and was selling all health-based haircare and body-care products.”
Robinault’s nightmare began on Saturday night when her daughter’s husband and friends called to say Sharkey was missing and that they had reported her disappearance to Houston police.
“One friend said, ‘I ran over to her apartment and she’s not there, and we were supposed to meet up,’” Robinault said. “When you start to hear these stories and you just know that’s not right, something’s wrong -- she’s never that far away from her device; [she’s] standing up her friends; [her] husband doesn’t know where she is, all of that. All of that strikes fear.”
On Monday, homicide detectives told the family that the naked body found on the side of the road a few miles from the Sharkey’s apartment by a garbage truck driver on Saturday was, in fact, Alexis Sharkey.
“We are wrecked. We are completely wrecked,” Robinault said. “The family is just so devastated -- her cousins, her sisters, her 13-year-old sister. It’s just so difficult.”
News of her death would have been devastating no matter what, Robinault added, but the mysterious circumstances make matters much worse.
“The way in which she was found -- my child would never do that to herself,” Robinault said. “That doesn’t even make sense. That is absolutely foul play.”
“There is nothing to me that suggests that this was an accident,” she added. “And there’s nothing to me that suggests anything else, other than that this was done to her. And I believe that in my mother’s gut.”