Alexis Sharkey murder: Husband of slain social media influencer found dead just before arrest

The 26-year-old woman had been in Houston for just 11 months before her body was found on Nov. 28, 2020.

ByCourtney Carpenter WPVI logo
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Alexis Sharkey's husband killed himself as marshals closed in
Houston police confirmed Thomas Sharkey, the husband of Alexis Sharkey, killed himself as authorities were about to arrest him in his wife's murder.

HOUSTON (WPVI) -- Nearly a year has gone by since Alexis Sharkey, a Pennsylvania native and Instagram influencer, was found dead on the side of a west Houston road just after Thanksgiving in 2020.

Since then, investigators haven't disclosed information on arrests or suspects in the case.

But, on Wednesday, Houston police confirmed the 26-year-old's husband, Tom Sharkey, was wanted for his wife's murder, and that he had died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head as authorities in Florida attempted to take him into custody.

During a briefing with the media, investigators said Tom Sharkey was the only person with a motive in the murder case, believing the killing was the result of domestic violence.

They added a warrant for his arrest was issued on Sept. 29, with plans to take him into custody in Harris County. But with Tom Sharkey not in the area, a fugitive task force tracked him to the Fort Myers, Florida, area, where on Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals Service located him at a relative's home.

It was there that as authorities asked to speak with him that Tom Sharkey used a firearm and shot himself to death, police said.

Investigators do not believe there are any other suspects connected to the case.

PREVIOUS STORY: Has Houston woman Alexis Sharkey's murder case gone cold?

It's been six months since the 26-year-old was left naked and dead alongside a desolate road. Still, no arrests have been made. Criminal investigators share why prosecutors haven't made any updates on the case public.

Alexis Sharkey's death created intrigue given her popularity on social media and the grim circumstances.

Family members said she was last seen alive the day after Thanksgiving. It wouldn't be until Nov. 28, 2020, that Alexis' unclothed body was found by a City of Houston public works employee in the 1000 block of Red Haw, located near the I-10 Katy Freeway and Eldridge Parkway.

Multiple tributes to Alexis were posted online, the most significant of which came from Tom Sharkey.

Even before Alexis' body was found, Tom and other family members were asking for the public's help in finding her.

After her death was confirmed, Tom posted, "My world! My everything! I'm so lost right now! My one and only!"

A few days after Alexis' body was located, Tom spoke with ABC13, recounting the moments they spent together before she disappeared. He also said he was receiving death threats as Alexis' story grew beyond Houston.

Read full conversation: Husband of Houston Instagram influencer says he's receiving death threats

Tom insisted that they had a happy marriage, but lamented that she had been distressed.

"She wasn't happy. She was stressed. I would cuddle her to try to make her strong," Tom told ABC13 on Dec. 2, 2020. "I don't need to set the record straight. I'll let it play out the way it is. I know what my life was with my wife."

Tom also said when he last saw his wife, he warned her not to drive.

"She understood me. I understood her. We didn't fight when she left. I just told her she couldn't drive under the influence," said Tom. "She left anyhow. This is where we're at."

At that time, he insisted he was cooperating with homicide detectives.

Since that conversation, Eyewitness News made multiple attempts to speak with him, but he declined each time.

It wouldn't be until Jan. 19, 2021, about seven weeks after Alexis was found dead, that an autopsy revealed she was strangled and her death was ruled a homicide.

Until now, investigators did not officially name Tom Sharkey a suspect since Alexis' death.

Alexis Sharkey, Houston woman known for Instagram influence, strangled, autopsy reveals

Her family and friends have been waiting for answers since the young woman's body was found on the side of a Houston road in November.

This is a developing story. All updates can be found here.