Who Killed Instagram Influencer Alexis Sharkey?
On November 28, 2020, Houston city workers stumbled upon a naked body on the side of a service road. At first, they thought it was a mannequin because of the way the body was positioned. Upon a closer look, however, they realized they were looking at a dead woman. The police would later identify her as Instagram Influencer Alexis Sharkey (26).
Alexis’s body was found just a couple of miles away from the house she shared with her husband, Tom Sharkey. The medical examiner confirmed the cause of death was strangulation and the case officially became a homicide.
So, who killed Alexis Sharkey and why?
Everyone Loved Her
Alexis was born on January 25, 1994, and she grew up in north-western Pennsylvania with her parents and two younger sisters. The Robinaults were a happy, supportive, and close-knit family that Alexis loved dearly. Her friends describe her as being a kind and generous soul who seemed to be addicted to learning and pursuing her goals.
When she graduated from high school in 2012, she went to the University of Pittsburgh to study Biology, Nutrition, and Psychology with the long-term goal of pursuing a career in medicine. After she graduated at the top of her class, Alexis decided to take a gap year to travel and relax, and that’s when she moved to Odessa, Texas.
There, she got a job at a Twin Peaks (a sports bar) and quickly made new friends. That’s when she met her future husband, Tom Sharkey. Tom was a regular customer who worked as a consultant in the oil field. He was very well-traveled and the two hit it off instantly. Even though he was in his mid-forties and Alexis in her early twenties, neither of them seemed to mind their age gap, and their fairytale romance began. They’d post all about their travels on social media and it was #couplegoals.
At some point, Alexis grew tired of working non-stop and decided to quit her job at Twin Peaks to become a salesperson for Monat hair care products. Alexis had a natural gift for selling and recruiting people, and she quickly moved up the ranks to become an Executive Director in early 2020. She gradually ramped up her Instagram and really started attracting an active following. Her winning formula was the fact that she used her selling skills and knowledge in biology to promote Monat products and the lifestyle of its sales family.
Full of travel adventures and her godly beauty, her feed quickly garnered interest and people started looking at Alexis as an influencer. Although she preferred to call herself a businesswoman and a mentor, it was clear that her posts influenced people to join or buy from Monat.
The Perfect “Beauty and the Beast” Love Story
By the summer of 2019, Tom and Alexis were already engaged and they decided to move to Colorado. They traveled all around the area and they looked really happy and in love. A few months later, they got married in December 2019 and moved once more to Houston, Texas.
Yet again, Alexis was quick to make friends at a new place. She formed a loyal group of girlfriends she met through a mobile app and they all loved spending time together. They also started a group chat to keep in touch where Alexis was reportedly pretty active. This small detail would later play an important part in the investigation.
Life Beyond the Lens
Although she was newly married, Alexis rarely took Tom to her friends’ gatherings. In fact, she didn’t even talk much about him while she was with them. Then November 2020 came along and things sadly took a deadly turn.
At the beginning of the month, Alexis went to Tulum, Mexico, with her friends and, surprisingly, Tom didn’t join her. When she came back, she started making her holiday plans as Thanksgiving was right around the corner. She spoke to her mom on the phone and told her that she won’t be going home for Thanksgiving but that she would certainly visit for Christmas. Her family thought it was really weird that Alexis had stopped visiting as often as she once did. In fact, it had been almost a year since they last saw her. Nevertheless, they were excited to see her in December. Little did they know that would never happen.
A few days before she was murdered, on Thanksgiving morning (November 26th), Alexis briefly texted with her mom. They wished each other happy Thanksgiving and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. However, instead of spending the holiday with her husband Tom, Alexis actually went over to her friend Tanya’s house to celebrate with her girlfriends. She stayed there until around 12 AM when a friend picked her up and to go to a bar where they stayed until about 3 AM.
Alexis then texted Tanya that she would come back to her place to grab her things but since Tanya was already asleep, she didn’t respond. Either way, Alexis went back to her friend’s house to get her car and allegedly went home.
The next day, November 27th, was Black Friday which meant it would be a busy day for Alexis and Monat. Her colleagues started sharing their sales posts early in the morning but Alexis was oddly silent which was especially weird since she was the one who was always encouraging people to use social media for sales.
At around 5:30 PM there was a text message in the group chat sent from Alexis’s phone. She wanted to go out in the evening and was asking about her friends’ plans. Because it was Thanksgiving weekend, however, the girls were already busy so they made plans to meet the next day for a girls’ night. Those brief group chat messages were the last time anyone heard from Alexis.
She didn’t post anything on social media the entire time.
Where Did Alexis Go?
A few hours later around 11 PM, Tom texted one of Alexis’ friends’ boyfriend (John) to ask if he had heard from Alexis. Not wasting precious time texting, John immediately called Tom. That’s when Tom told him that Alexis was missing and that the two of them had gotten into a fight before she stormed out their house barefoot and he hadn’t seen her since. She had climbed over the fence and there was a black car that had picked her up.
That phone call lasted 45 minutes during which time Tom told John everything that allegedly happened before Alexis left their home. Fun fact: Tom would later change his story several times throughout the investigation. At some point, he told police that Alexis was wearing sweats and running shoes when she left the house. In one version, he said she left her phone behind, and in another, he said she took it with her and he used an app to track her down. He had followed her around in a black car until he eventually lost signal. Hmm…
The whole time that they spoke on the phone, John felt like something was off.
From Disappearance to Murder
After failing to find her, Tom said he pulled into a gas station to clear his head, calm down, and plan his next move. He reportedly stayed there for two hours before he started calling people asking about Alexis.
The next day, her friends started texting in the group chat to make plans for their girls’ night. Everyone was active except for Alexis and that got her friends worried. When they saw that she hadn’t been posting anything on social media, they were alarmed but it wasn’t until Alexis didn’t show up for their movie date that they realized something was wrong. It wasn’t like her to skip out on plans.
They ended up calling Alexis’s mother who already knew her daughter was missing as she had been on the phone with Tom. Her friends eventually filed a missing person’s report and started posting on social media hoping to find Alexis.
Sadly, at the same time as her friends and family were looking for Alexis, her naked body had already been found dead by Houston city workers, dumped by the side of a service road just a few miles from her home. When Tom was brought in to identify the body, her family still had hope Alexis was alive because her phone was still on. Unfortunately, Tom confirmed the body belonged to his wife, Alexis Sharkey.
Alexis was dead, there were no signs of struggle on her body and there was no apparent cause of death. At this time, it wasn’t clear how she died, and it wouldn’t be until January 2021, two months after her death, that the medical examiner would conclude she died by strangulation.
Did the Husband Do It?
Shortly after news of her death started circling around, details of her relationship with Tom came to light. One of Alexis’s friends came forward saying that things weren’t going well in that marriage. Alexis had allegedly told her that her marriage was failing and she was afraid for her life. According to that friend, Alexis seemed “petrified.”
It soon became clear that Alexis was planning to divorce Tom and that the couple had even split their bank accounts shortly before she went missing. The divorce papers were allegedly drawn up and ready to be signed as well. But that’s not all…
There Was Another Man In the Picture
On her trip to Tulum at the beginning of November, Alexis met this guy named Sebastian. He was a Houston-based DJ and the two really hit it off. Her friends gave mixed statements as to whether Alexis and Seb hooked up or not during that trip, but they all agreed there was definitely something going on between them.
In fact, it was Sebastian who picked Alexis up after the Thanksgiving dinner with her friends and took her to a bar until 3 AM. Were they already dating or just hanging out? No one knows.
An Ongoing Investigation
After the coroner’s office confirmed Alexis had been strangled, investigators began looking more into Tom and his past trying to find clues as to whether he did it or not. In the only interview he gave to the press, Tom said that Alexis wasn’t who everyone else thought she was. To others, she was happy and carefree, but with him, she was stressed and worried, and he often had to comfort and bring her back up. He also said he told her not to drive intoxicated (when talking about the night he last saw her). He denied that they had gotten into a fight that night.
Electronic forensics will play a major role in the investigation as police were actively looking into the devices of everyone who communicated with Alexis in her last days to try and put together a timeline of what really happened.
Unsurprisingly, the strongest theory is that Tom killed Alexis which many of her friends believe to be true. They came forward saying that Alexis would often confide in them about her husband and his abusive, controlling, and manipulative nature. He’d sometimes strangle her for fun, and many speculate that this may have been the case when she died (especially if it was a sexual thing for them) — they think he may have gone too far.
Of course, Tom has denied these accusations, including the part about their divorce, and that’s pretty much where the investigation is at right now. There are other theories as well. Some think her friends did it and others believe the DJ may have done it, but the main suspect continues to be Tom.
Personally, I also think the husband did it. Not so much because of the accusations of Alexis’s friends, but more so because of how often he has changed his story about what happened. An innocent man would have no problem remembering the truth. Plus, she didn’t fight her killer which means she must have known him. Still, Tom is innocent until proven guilty.
What do you guys think happened?