The body of missing League City, Texas, woman Anne-Christine Johnson has been discovered at the residence of her ex-husband, police announced. Shaun Hardy was arrested and has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Anne-Christine’s death.
Just days ago, police named Hardy, 32, a person of interest in his ex-wife’s disappearance, as he was reportedly the last person to see Anne-Christine, 30, before she vanished. According to the Huffington Post, a spokesperson with the League City Police Department, Kelly Williamson, said, “You have a contentious couple in a volatile relationship, sharing custody of a child, and he was the last person to report seeing her… The totality of those circumstances is what makes him a person of interest.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Hardy was arrested Friday and is being held in the Galveston County Jail on $500,000 bail. In addition to being charged with first-degree murder, he is charged with tampering with evidence.
The Chronicle notes that Anne-Christine’s body was discovered in Hardy’s garage, wrapped in plastic.
Her mother, Stephanie Johnson, told the Chronicle she is “literally devastated” by the news. She added, “All that searching and she was right in the house.”
Anne-Christine vanished on December 8 when she went to Hardy’s League City residence. Her father reported her missing after she failed to show up for work and members of her family couldn’t get in contact with her, the Post reports.
Hardy told police he last saw Anne-Christine outside of his home on the day she went missing, adding he spotted her leave in a white car with a man he didn’t know. According to the Post, Hardy then stopped communicating with authorities.
According to the Chronicle, court documents indicate that Anne-Christine had accused Hardy in mid-2015 of attempting to drug her, pistol-whip her, and choke her. She specifically noted he “assaulted” her with a firearm, and used a knife to threaten her. When requesting a protective order, Anne-Christine said she was “afraid” without it Hardy would continue to hurt her or “even kill” her.
Anne-Christine further alleged that while she was at Hardy’s home, he entered the kitchen, got a hunting knife, and proceeded to cut himself. She asserted he then hit her with a gun barrel, choked her, and began stabbing the mattress of their young son when she went to the child’s bedroom to tell him goodbye, the Chronicle reports. Anne-Christine also claimed Hardy attempted to squirt a syringe full of muscle relaxers into her mouth and told her he would “slit her wrists” and make it look like a suicide.
The Post reports that Hardy also asked for a protective order alleging that Anne-Christine had “engaged in… family violence” and asserted she would likely “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass” him.
The Chronicle reports that the court granted both Anne-Christine’s and Hardy’s requests, but each was canceled within about a month after being filed.
Anne-Christine’s mother told the Chronicle that she knew and had been “crying for months that this was going to happen.” She plans to use this tragedy to aid others who are experiencing domestic abuse. Stephanie Johnson said,
“I’m no expert on abuse but I’m going to become one… This is my mission in life… This is an epidemic of violence against women and if her death is going to have any meaning at all it is going to be to put a very public face on the killers of women.”
Anne-Christine and Hardy divorced in April 2015 and their autistic son, who is 5, was living with Hardy but is now safe, her mother noted. According to the Chronicle, Anne-Christine has an 8-year-old son from another relationship and the boy lives with his father.
[Featured Image by Find Anne-Christine/Facebook]