Northern Kentucky woman found buried in Florida boyfriend's backyard

William C. Routenberg (Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)
William C. Routenberg (Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)
Shanessa Lynn Chappie (Source: WTVT)
Shanessa Lynn Chappie (Source: WTVT)

Police in Florida have arrested a man after digging up the body of a Northern Kentucky woman in his backyard.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Florida, police received information of an unreported homicide that occurred over a month ago in unincorporated Clearwater in Florida. The investigation led detectives to the residence of William C. Routenberg.

After obtaining a warrant, police searched Routenberg's property and found the body of Shanessa Lynn Chappie, 24, of Northern Kentucky buried in the backyard.

According to police in Pinellas County, Routenberg told detectives the body was his girlfriend, who he killed during an argument, then buried in his backyard. Chappie was living with Routenberg at the time.

Routenberg is currently at the Pinellas County Jail and charged with First Degree Murder.

Chappie was arrested by Kenton County Police in 2005 for a minor drug offense. In May, Chappie had a warrant out for her arrest for a "dangerous drugs" offense.

Shanessa's mother Shauna Doyen, spoke out about her daughter's death exclusively to FOX19's Stefano DiPietrantonio, along with some of Shanessa's best friends and two of her aunts.

Florida detectives got the tip that a homicide had occurred at the home more than a month ago, from a buddy of Routenberg's.

They searched the area and found Chappie's body.

"We had no report of this girl being missing by anybody," said Sergeant Tom Nestor with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department. "We had no other reports of a domestic or an argument or a fight that evening a month ago, so there was no indication prior to that Wednesday afternoon tip that this would happen."

The family is so shocked and saddened that this young, beautiful girl, who had everything going for her, died at the hands of who Florida prosecutors call a sexual monster.

Shanessa's mom is still reeling from the unbelievable phone call she got Friday morning.

Shanessa was Shauna Doyen's only daughter, her baby girl.

"She was an amazing person, she was a happy little girl, beautiful girl, she was gorgeous, she had loyal friends that would do anything for her and she would for them," Doyen tearfully explained. "She was loved by so many people."

Doyen got a horrific phone call from her ex-husband, Shanessa's father, who drove to Florida Thursday night, telling her that their daughter was dead. Shanessa's body was badly decomposed.

"They would not let her father view her," Doyen said.

Doyen admits her daughter struggled with drugs, but says Shanessa went to Florida with a couple of friends to get away from bad influences here at home and get a fresh start.

"She was no angel, she had issues, but she did not deserve what happened to her," Doyen said.

"She got on a bad path and she got lost and needed help off that path, not killed," said her aunt Lavonda Grant.

"I begged her not to leave in the first place, she's my little girl, I didn't want her to go that far," her mother said.

"I think she got lost, she fell off the wrong path and she's been searching for herself, is the big reason she went to Florida, was to try and do it on her own," said long time friend Nicole Strange.

"She was like my big sister, besides my big sister," smiled Amber Strange as she looked at her big sis Nicole sitting next to her. Both girls knew Shanessa all of their lives. "She was always staying the night and we'd have fun, and I wish I could tell her how much I miss her and how much I wish she came back home."

Florida detectives told Shauna Doyen that a buddy of Routenberg's tipped them off, when Routenberg asked him to help "get rid of something."

"Throw away some kind of container or something along those lines," Doyen said. "They drove around with it in the car for a period of time," she said, unable to complete the sentence.

So Shanessa's Aunt Lavonda finished it for her.

"He couldn't find anywhere he felt suitable to dump it, so they took it back to the house," Grant said.

Police will only tell Doyen very little about how her daughter died.

"She has a neck injury, that's all the details he would give me at this point, basically I have to wait for the autopsy," said Doyen.

So, the family waits for the autopsy results, at least six to eight weeks.

The Pinellas County Coroner seemed to think they'll be able to bring Shanessa's body home within the next few days.

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