On Valentine’s Day of 2018, 35 year old Michael Shaver of Clermont, Lake County, Florida was reported missing by a concerned co-worker who hadn’t seen him since 2015.
Shaver, who worked as a mono-rail technician at Disney world Florida, stopped showing up to work and according to his wife never returned to the home they shared at 9850 Sandy Pines Road. The last time she claimed to have seen him was in 2014 when he left the house for good after getting out of jail following a domestic battery charge.
According to various articles, the couple had gotten into an argument that turned extremely violent while doing DIY work around the house. The police report states that the couple wrestled over a .40-caliber handgun, which Michael was said to have retrieved from his nightstand during a verbal altercation. He then hit his wife across the head with the weapon as she struggled to fish the car keys out of his pocket in a desperate attempt to flee from the family home with their children. She then hurled a vase in his direction, took the bullets from the gun and hit him across the head with it, wounding him, before driving her children to a nearby Wal-Mart. The children witnessed the altercation between their parents.
Laurie sustained a lot of bruising from the attack, including abrasions to her arms and face. Police reportedly took the away the guns involved in the incident.
Mrs. Shaver had reported her husband twice before for domestic violence but later dropped the charges. She told police that he had driven away in a friend's SUV and never returned, which is why she never bothered to report him as a missing person back in 2014.
When interviewed, neighbors claimed that one day Michael Shaver was pottering around on his land working, and the next, simply vanished. They never saw him again.
The missing man neglected to keep contact with his two children, a point that concerned friends of the missing 35 year old, as it was very out of character. Shaver had a pilot license and drivers license which according to records, he did not renew. His family claimed that they didn’t report his disappearance to the authorities because they wanted to deal with it by themselves and believed that they could track him down or that he would return of his own accord. Michael never did return and the unresolved issue provoked co-workers and friends to do some investigating of their own.
According to an article in the daily commercial a friend of a friend went to visit Laurie Shaver in 2015 where she discovered important personal items that Michael should have taken with him if he intended to disappear voluntarily, such as his phone and wallet. Eerily, when friends looked up his Facebook profile, they found it to be void of pictures, and believed that someone had been editing the page.
Online sleuths zoned in on the fact that Shavers own family had not enlisted the help of local authorities early on in the case. It is possible extended family did not visit the couple as they moved from New York City to Clermont, Florida, which is quite the treck. It’s likely they mostly communicated online or via phone call. Many believed that Laurie had something to do with her husband’s disappearance. A search for Michael Shavers Facebook profile using “Florida” as the location will turn up nothing, but search for a Michael Shaver in San Francisco, California will turn up a profile for him which was last updated on January 1st 2018 at 2:57am. His profile picture was updated January 2nd and shows him at a bar with friends. The location in not tagged and there is no consistency to his feed whatsoever.
Concerned for Mr. Shavers well-being, a co-worker officially reported him missing in early 2018, and within a month investigators were paying Laurie another visit at 9850 Sandy Pines Road. Sandy pines is a quiet place nearby woodland with only a few neighbors dotted around. The Shaver family lived on a quiet 5 acre property with four pastures and plenty of room, but the relationship between Laurie and Michael was strained and tumultuous. Many people theorized that Michael had simply had enough and left. But those who knew him knew that he loved his children way too much to just walk out on them.
Laurie had remarried to a man named Travis Filmer in December of 2017; however there was no divorce papers filed to dissolve the marriage with her missing husband. She allowed investigators into the home to look around, but became drastically less cooperative when they noticed a suspiciously new and out of place slab of concrete covering a fire pit in the back yard. When they asked her if they could bring a cadaver dog onto the scene to check around the property, her accommodating attitude suddenly turned defensive and she rejected the request stating that she demanded to have a lawyer present.
A warrant was obtained and a cadaver dog was brought onto the property.
Detectives were not surprised when the dog identified the suspicious area around the concrete slab as a hit. The earth was carefully dug up and human arm bone was quickly discovered. Further skeletal remains were excavated from the scene along with various articles of clothing. The remains were sent off to a medical examiner for analysis and using the DNA of the missing man’s father was positively identified as that of Michael Shaver.
The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
It would later be revealed that the burial site was also the location where Laurie and her new husband, Travis Filmer, had held their wedding ceremony. Neighbors admitted to reporters that they found it strange that Michael Shafer, a man that had vanished off the face of the earth, was so quickly replaced by another man.
Laurie is the prime suspect in the case and the online world is full of chatter about what happened.
The most popular theory is that the two got into another altercation and Laurie killed Michael and buried his body in the backyard. The burial site may seem too close for comfort but perhaps in a panicked state she dragged the man outside and attempted to cover up the crime as quickly as possible without being seen. Maybe then she just crossed her fingers in the hope that nobody would come looking for him believing the story that he’d simply had enough left.
The trial is currently pending. Laurie Filmer has no comment.