She may never be found

Tynesha Stewart, 19, was a girl like many others. She had friends, family, hopes and dreams. And she was willing to work for her future. She worked during high school, and planned for college.

It was at that high school job at the pizza place when she drew the attention of Timothy Wayne Shepherd (I have also seen the name spelled Shepard), 27. Most likely it was exciting to have the attention, to be the girlfriend of an “older man.” The relationship had it’s problems, the family has reportedly told of one incident where Shepherd wouldn’t allow Tynesha to leave his apartment until her parents and police arrived. The two dated through her high school year, but as she planned for college things began to change.

Tynesha Stewart began college, Timothy Shepard reportedly went back to the mother of his child. Friends say she was hurt. But she began her college year and had begun to move on. Reportedly the couple reunited briefly during her freshman year, but it didn’t last and by Feb. friends say she was on the verge of a relationship with another. But the friends say that Shepherd continued to keep in touch with Tynesha, he called her… he even called her roommate to check where she was.

Spring break came and Tynesha Stewart came home to her mother’s. Like most kids that age, a priority would be to meet with friends and catch up with what each were doing. And friends say that while they were all together on Mar. 10, Tynesha told them she thought she saw Shepherd following them. And they say she seemed scared, though they didn’t know why.

On March 15 Tynesha Stewart and Shepherd met. And Tynesha Stewart has been missing ever since.

Shepherd told deputies that he and Tynesha Stewart had had a disagreement, not a fight, over the new boyfriend. And he told that she took off on foot. That was the last time she was seen. The sheriff’s office says Shepherd was cooperative and that he allowed them to search his apartment and his car.

Family and friends say they noticed one thing of importance. Shepherd had quit calling to find Tynesha.

On Wednesday a community activist met with Timothy Shepherd. And allegedly while they talked, Shepherd took the activist and an investigator to a dumpster and told about what happened.

Allegedly the two had had a fight. And allegedly Shepherd had strangled Tynesha. Allegedly he had choked Tynesha, then had put her into a large plastic tote, put the tote into his car and took her to a dumpster.

Deputies say the dumpster has been emptied at least twice since then. The dumpster waste was taken to two different landfills. And in the intervening time, a lot more garbage has been dumped in those landfills.

Deputies say the cost of excavating those landfills is prohibitive. Even if they manage a search there is a chance that she will not be found. And with the cost, it may not be attempted. They say the family is aware that Tynesha Stewart will likely never be found.

Timothy Wayne Shepherd has been charged with the murder of Tynesha Stewart.

The sheriff’s office say they are investigating to see if there is any past history of abuse in the relationship.

The key in a controlling person is that it isn’t over, until they say it is over. It doesn’t matter what else they may doing- it doesn’t matter if there is abuse, arguments, infedelity, or just a growing apart- the relationship is not over- until they say it is over.

The need for control may be shown as antagonistic, or may be couched in ‘concern’ over the other person a desire for friendship. But that need is still there. And moving to another relationship is a sign the control may be in danger.

Answering the phone calls, meeting to talk are signs the control is intact. That the person still has the influence. That the control is accepted by the target.

It is said he broke down when he took them to the dumpster- likely some will say that is a sign of remorse. And maybe he does have some sense of the magnitude of what he is accused of doing and maybe he did have some sense of what he is facing.

But he didn’t break down and call an ambulance after allegedly strangling her. He didn’t break down and tell before the dumpster was emptied. And he didn’t break down and tell before tons of garbage were dumped on her. But under the weight of suspicion- he finally told. He told that it was over. He told that he treated her like a piece of garbage- he threw her away.

Family and friends now have some sense of what happened. And more will likely come out. But they will never get to see her get her degree in civil engineering, will never see her marry and have children of her own. And now they may never even have a place to go to commune with Tynesha, a place to mourn over her. A place to leave flowers for her. Because someone else took control of all of that.

Thank you to Trisha for passing this story along to me.


Thanks to D.P. we have an update.

Under angry pressure from the family and friends, the community- including the community activist who was instrumental in solving the question of what happened to Tynesha, and state legislators along with a personal plea from the sheriff, the  Commissioners Court agreed to spend up to $500,000 for the search for Tynesha. The funding will come from seized drug money.

But to complicate matters, it is now believed that Shepherd dismembered Tynesha before disposing of her body in several disposal bins. Which means that not only will the remains be harder to find, they could also be in different facilities.

Shepherd allegedly tried to commit suicide with a belt in an interview room and is now on suicide watch.


College roommate describes some of the recent interactions between Tynesha Stewart and Shepherd. She also gives some  insight to Tynesha Stewart as a person and as a friend.

The sheriff is now saying there are no remains to be found. He is now saying that Shepherd burned the remains on a grill at his home and that nothing remains. As a result there will be no search for the Tynesha Stewart.

The sheriff reportedly would not discuss how all of the remains could be entirely burned. According to the sheriff, he knew the information previously, but could not disclose it due to the investigation.

A search of his apartment showed that the bathroom had been scrubbed with ammonia. Only two specks of blood were found. Neighbors noticed Shepherd was barbequing for an extended period, but he allegedly said that he was making food for a wedding. According to reports, neighbors also saw Shepherd throw two barbeque grills away.

Interestingly the fire department was called to the address at one point, but Shepherd allegedly told them the situation was under control.

Reportedly the family has agreed to cancel the search for Tynesha Stewart’s remains.


Shepherd was in court for the second time today. He is being held on a $250,000 bond and the defense attorney has said the family has decided not to post the bond- for Shepherd’s safety.

Next will be a Grand Jury hearing.


Updates and timeline of the events.



  1. cathy said,

    March 23, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    This story is wrong in so many ways. First of all not looking until they find her (no matter how long it takes is unacceptable). Where I live a similar incident happened. It was actually a teenage boy who was murdered by two other men and he was also dumped in a garbage landfill, but the search was started and did not end until he was found and had a proper burial.

    Someone in that area needs to gets the TV and newspapers involved and put some heat on the city, county, state or whoever is in charge of that landfill. If I was this mother I would start a campaign until someone took me serious and found my child.

    As for him…He “brokedown” when he took authorities there, because he now knew HIS life was pretty much over. It had nothing to do with her.

  2. D.P. said,

    March 24, 2007 at 2:24 am

    This link is the latest. They are going to search for her…but it took plenty of public outrage to spur the city into dipping into the emergency fund to pay for it. The thought that they would leave her in that dump is outrageous to me. I don’t know if this a race thing or what, but I don’t recall any hesitation at all on the part of authorities when they had to go through a whole landfill to find poor Lori Hacking.

  3. March 24, 2007 at 3:10 am

    D.P. thanks for the update. While race could have played a part, I really wonder if it wasn’t ‘corporate mentality.’
    They knew this was going to be high profile. The community activist was involved, the girl had two uncles who were known names in the sports world. There was no way this was going to be ignored, no matter what race they are.
    But in what I call ‘corporate mentality’ the good of the corporation (city) gets priority over the people. The fact that the people are the corporation seems to be ignored. So in a choice of spending money for the recovery over say the development of the city- their priority established the choice. They needed to be reminded what the priorities really were. JMO of course.

  4. D.P. said,

    March 24, 2007 at 3:54 am

    You have a good point, Sweet. Individuals, the very cells that make up what we know to be a city, seem to get overlooked in the big picture type of planning carried out by many leaders. However, I can’t help but wonder about city leaders who would actually think that it would be ok to not even try a recovery effort, if even for a public show of ethics. To actually let it get to the point that “public outrage” seemed to make up their minds about a search. This beautiful, smart girl who was stolen so selfishly from her family and friends by a controlling loser is buried, in pieces, among mountains of rubbish. I’m sure you can tell, but this one really pisses me off.
    I know the odd are poor, but I hope they find enough of her so that her loved ones can properly say goodbye to her.

  5. March 24, 2007 at 4:55 am

    Me too, D.P., me too.

  6. Becky J said,

    March 25, 2007 at 2:44 am

    I cant believe that people didnt come together to donate there time to find that lovely girl!! City workers, citizens etc that is very discouraging to me also…if you think about it in some sadistic way, he knew what he was doing dismembering her and throwing her away like that, it just gives him continuing control over her and those who loved her by them possibly never knowing where she is. It proves your point, home, that the controller will remain in control until they choose to stop and say its over.

  7. March 28, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    The Texas A&M family as a whole stands united with the family of Tynesha Stewart. Tynesha was one of our own. We will do anything we can do for her family in their time of need. We are grieving the loss of Tynesha. This is a great loss for us all.

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