CLERMONT, FL – Laurie Shaver, 37, has been charged with second-degree homicide and an “accessory after the fact,” after her husband, Michael Shaver, went missing nearly five years ago.
This was after his remains were found under a firepit on their five-acre property in 2018.
Shaver sent texts from Michael’s phone and Facebook messages from his account to her husband’s friends and family months after he disappeared in 2015.
Lt. David Herrell, a spokesperson for Lake County Sheriff’s Office, told Oxygen.com.
“From day one Laurie Shaver was our sole suspect and she remains our sole suspect to this day.”
Travis Filmer, a guy who dated Laurie in 2016 after her husband’s disappearance, provided police with damming alleged evidence against his bride. He recalled Laurie telling him about her husband. She cryptically told him:
“It’s not that he’s missing. He’s no longer walking this Earth.”
Filmer and Laurie decided they wanted to build a barbeque pit before they got married.
Filmer allegedly helped her install the concrete pit, and he bought 42 bags of concrete mix.
Once finished, she posted her finished DIY outdoor project on Facebook. They etched their initials into the concrete. They later got married. Filmer had no idea their initials marked where Michael Shaver’s remains were hidden.
I’ve been covering the case of #MichaelShaver for a few years. I’m interviewing #JodiArias defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi following today’s arrest of his wife Laurie. Listen for for an update on @WDBONews at Noon. https://t.co/WZnQDPtafL
— ray caputo (@profraycaputo) September 17, 2020
In 2016 when Laurie first started dating Filmer, she initially told him she was divorced. Later, she told him that something happened. She finally fessed up, according to the probable cause affidavit, and told him there was a corpse on the property.
When Michael Shaver disappeared on November 7, 2015, his friends, family, and coworkers got strange cryptic messages supposedly from him months later. They got them on social media and texts. Detectives believe that Laurie sent them to make them believe that Michael was still alive.
Detectives now believe, however, that Laurie authored the messages to give the illusion he was still alive. In the affidavit detectives said:
“Laurie claimed to have seen and talked to Michael and assumed his identity on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and text to convince family and friends he was still alive, a ruse which did not benefit her in any way other than prolonging the discovery of his homicide.”
There have been several times where the messages were puzzling. Michael’s boss got a message where Michael quit abruptly. The text to his employer said:
“I’m having issues at home, in GA right now. Just fire me or I’ll quit. I will not be returning anytime soon.”
Michael’s sister asked him where he was on Facebook. Laurie allegedly posed as Michael, responded:
“Everyone just needs to leave me alone just like they did my entire life.”
Weeks before Michael Shaver’s decomposed body turned up, the social media account was updated a final time on January 2, 2018. The detectives later traced many of the posts on Facebook back to Laurie’s IP address.
These puzzled most of those who knew Michael. They told the authorities that he would never leave his kids or quit his job by text. It wasn’t like him.
She took her charade a step further. Days after Michael’s body was exhumed, but before it was identified, she mailed herself a postcard. The postcard had her husband’s photograph. The postcard said he was in Orlando and contained the message:
“Tell the kids I love them see you soon.”
#BreakingNews: The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in the Michael Shaver homicide investigation.
— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) September 17, 2020
She claimed that Michael was stalking her. He lived in numerous places according to Laurie. She told detectives he lives in Georgia, New York, and California.
Investigators allege that Laurie used all the money from his bank account, and she sold his things. She sold expensive work equipment like a tractor and trucks.
In 2018 a concerned friend approached authorities after becoming suspicious of Laurie’s story. Michael was officially reported missing three years after his death.
The police went to do a welfare check. Laurie told them that Michael left the family in a black SUV. His destination was Georgia. When he left her, this ended the contentious marriage.
She said they were free to search the property, but then she asked them to leave after they asked to search the fire pit slab. The reason she asked them to leave was that they wanted to search the concrete fire pit with cadaver dogs.
@LCSOAlerts searching behind #MichaelShaver #Clermont home for human remains. Shaver missing for nearly 3 years. Possible arm bone found by cadaver dog. Wife now a “person of interest.” #Fox35 pic.twitter.com/bXgqpdzTzO
— Matt Trezza FOX 35 (@Fox35Matt) March 10, 2018
Deputies returned in March with a search warrant. Under the cement slab where Laurie and her new husband put their initials, they found skeletal remains buried 3 feet under the slab.
DNA testing positively identified Michael. He was killed early to mid-November, and parts of the affidavit are redacted. There isn’t any indication of how he was killed. He was 33 years old.
— Fitz (@Ladybugs702) March 14, 2018
They found some blood splatter on the property, but it was inconclusive whether the genetic material belonged to Michael.
The cause and manner of Shaver’s death were redacted from the probable cause affidavit.
Authorities believe that Michael was a victim of domestic violence, but they are holding some details at the moment. Herrell, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said:
“I’m not at liberty to discuss any potential motive they are considering.”
Michael’s coworkers saw bruises on him before he disappeared. The bruises were on his face, arms, and chest. Michael told one of his coworkers that Laurie “blew up,” and punched him.
Coworkers turned over text messages to the investigators sent from Michael before he disappeared. The conversation occurred in either 2014 or 2015 according to the probable cause affidavit. He alluded to her trying to kill him for his life insurance. The coworker told him that she had to kill him first. He replied that he was sure she attempted to kill him.
However, Jeffrey Wiggs, Laurie defense attorney, stated that they, meaning Mike and Laurie, never had life insurance. Wiggs told Oxygen.com:
“There was no policy to collect on. She didn’t gain a single cent in this incident.”
Wiggs described the allegations against his client as “inaccurate.” He said:
“She did not commit the crime. There are other people that law enforcement has failed to look at. There’s periods that the state has tried to narrow down to try to make Ms. Shaver look like the culpable party.”
Laurie filed for an injunction for a temporary court protective order against Michael related to domestic violence accusations, in September 2014 additional court records show.
“We’re at a point now where we hope and pray that at least to some degree, this can bring the family and friends some closure.”
Laurie is being held at Lake County Jail on charges of second-degree homicide (domestic violence) and accessory after the fact in second-degree homicide.
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