LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – More than two years after Michael Shaver’s remains were found buried on his wife’s Clermont property and five years after he was last seen alive, his wife has been arrested on a charge of murder, Lake County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed Thursday.
Remains were found in March 2018 buried under a concrete slab and fire pit on Laurie Shaver’s property on Sandy Pines Road. Several months later, authorities positively identified the remains as Michael Shaver, her husband.
News 6 spoke to Shaver’s family, who were not surprised by the arrest.
“Michael was a great guy, just a real great guy, real laid back,” father Doug Shaver told News 6. “Hopefully, we’re going to have closure. It’s going to be a long, drawn out thing I’m sure.”
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Authorities said they were only alerted that Shaver was missing in February 2018 after a friend, Scott Amatuccio, contacted them and said that he and Shaver’s family had not seen or heard from him since November 2015. Lake County deputies spoke to Laurie Shaver in early 2018 and she said she hadn’t seen him since 2015.
Laurie Shaver, 37, told Michael’s friends he had quit his job and left his family. Those friends and co-workers found this odd and did not think Michael Shaver would leave his children, according to the arrest affidavit.
Investigators spoke to multiple witnesses who described the Shaver’s relationship as tumultuous and the two had separated at one point, while both dating other people.
The last person besides his wife to see him alive was Michael Shaver’s co-worker at a tractor show on Nov. 7. The co-worker told investigators Michael and Laurie Shaver were there with their two children and did not appear to be getting along. On Nov. 9, Michael texted the same co-worker to say he was quitting his job to save his marriage.
Amatuccio, a close friend of Michael Shaver, called deputies after a prior girlfriend of his reached out and the two began talking about Shaver.
“When she visited the property, she noticed Mike’s wallet and cell phone was there and Mike wasn’t there, and she told me about this weird concrete slab she saw on Laurie’s Facebook,” Amatuccio said. “I put all these little pieces together and this isn’t right at all. That was what triggered me to call the authorities.”
After his disappearance co-workers, family and friends continued to receive text message from Michael’s number telling them to “leave me alone” or “don’t bother me.” Detectives believe these, along with Facebook messages, were sent by the victim’s wife and could be traced back to the Shaver home IP address.
“Mike isn’t the one to go and get up and leave his kids one day like she had claimed,” Amatuccio said.
Following Nov. 7, 2015, Laurie Shaver made a series of financial movements using Michael Shaver’s name and debit card including taking out a loan that was never paid and draining his bank account, records show.
Laurie Shaver also began selling off Michael’s belongings, including his firearms and his aircraft mechanic tools. Michael Shaver’s truck was still home when Laurie Shaver began telling people he moved out of state. It was repossessed in February 2016 after her attempts to sell it without a title failed, according to detectives.
Her stories varied, according to detectives. She told some people he moved to Georgia, others he was in New York and even California, records show. Her friends were told Michael Shaver was stalking her. She told her new boyfriend’s mother he was a pilot and traveling and told her supervisor at work he was in jail for nonpayment of child support.
Laurie Shaver began dating another man in September 2015 and later posed as Michael Shaver to notify that man’s wife of the affair, detectives said.
The man’s wife received flowers at work with a note that read: “Roses are red violets are blue my wife is a whore your husband is to. (sorry about this) Check your Facebook message, we need to talk, Mike!” The flowers were paid for using Laurie Shaver’s bank account, records show.
No person ever saw or verbally spoke to Michael Shaver after Nov. 7, 2015. Investigators said there is no evidence Michael Shaver existed anywhere after that date.
Investigators believe Michael Shaver was killed sometime between Nov. 7 and Nov. 10, 2015. The fire pit near where his body was found was constructed around March 2016 and a concrete slab poured in September of the same year by Laurie Shaver and her new boyfriend, Facebook posts by the suspect show.
When deputies came to the Shaver home in February 2018 for a well-being check on Michael Shaver, the suspect allowed them to look inside the home, but when deputies asked for permission to have a cadaver dog sniff around a concrete slab in her backyard, she stopped cooperating and asked them to leave, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Laurie told her boyfriend Michael Shaver “wasn’t missing, he was no longer walking this earth,” according to the arrest affidavit.
Laurie Shaver was arrested Thursday morning on a warrant at her home in Okahumpka. She faces charges of second-degree murder for the death of her husband and accessory after the fact to second-degree murder. She is being held in the Lake County jail without bail.
“This has been a long time coming,” Lt. John Herrell with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said. “For some time, we have felt we have a strong case against Laurie Shaver. This case, to say it was bizarre from the get-go, is an understatement.”
Authorities have not said how Michael Shaver died and his manner of death was redacted from the arrest affidavit.
“It’s a big step forward for justice for my best friend and his family,” Amatuccio said.
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