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‘Ignorant’ man mistakenly hands cops crucial evidence linking him to woman’s murder

A Florida man has been arrested and charged with abusing a dead body after he unwittingly turned over footage to cops showing him dragging a lifeless body into his home.

William Redden, 51, gave police DVRs of surveillance cameras inside and outside his property, thinking he only had a ‘live surveillance’ system running outside inside his house.

Instead, he handed detectives footage showing the final moments of Stephanie Shenefield’s life.

Redden allegedly wrapped the mother-of-two’s body in a sheet before dragging her to his car and driving her to a ditch, where he dumped her remains, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The 38-year-old took an Uber to the suspected drug dealer’s home at 1:20 a.m. on Friday, June 3, investigators said.

Investigators believe Shenefield died sometime that night and Redden disposed of the body instead of calling for help.

Investigators believe Stephanie Shenefield, 38, died at some point that night

“William Redden is not doing anything about it,” Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said during a news conference broadcast on WTSP Tampa Bay 10.

“He’s not calling 911, he’s not calling authorities, he’s not calling anyone.”

Redden told detectives Shenefield stayed home that night – but left the following 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 clues as to how his body ended up in a ditch in Palmetto.

Redden provided police with DVRs showing the last moments of Shenefield's life
Redden provided police with DVRs showing the last moments of Shenefield’s life

“He tells them that they don’t record inside the residence. He was wrong,” Wells said.

“Fortunately, he is ignorant and did not know it. Because it worked for us.

Detectives have verified through 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 the train tracks on June 9 by two people walking their dogs, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives verified through video footage that Shenefield was at Redden's house in Palmetto
Detectives verified through video footage that Shenefield was at Redden’s house in Palmetto

She was reported missing after Sunday, June 5, when she failed to show up for work and also missed a Friday night concert.

Wells said: “William Redden is shit, that’s what he is.

“He had occasion to call law enforcement, call 911, to try to save her.

“He could have done a lot of things, but that’s not his character,” he added.

“He had the opportunity to call law enforcement, to call 911, to try to save her.”

“The only thing he was thinking about was trying to get rid of the evidence that was in his car – he was a human being; he was someone who was truly loved in this community.

Redden was charged with abusing a dead body, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of a modified firearm.

The sheriff said he expects additional charges to be brought against the criminal eight times throughout the investigation.

“We will continue to investigate this, but we want you to know that our hearts break for Stephanie’s family,” Wells said.

Redden is being held in the Manatee County Jail on $108,000 bond.