Details of Disappearance Shelley was last seen between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. on February 28, 2011, after she dropped her six-year-old daughter Lilli off at her ex-husband's home on Old Nashville Dirt Road in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Her ex-husband, Tyler Augustus Mook, stated she was upset when she went inside his house, and said she thought her boyfriend was being unfaithful. He said Shelley stayed at his home for about an hour, then left to run some errands, promising to return before 10:00 p.m.
Shelley had moved into a new apartment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee the previous weekend and was supposed to meet a maintenance worker there at 4:30 p.m., but she never arrived. She also never returned to Tyler's home. She has never been heard from again.
At 12:30 a.m. on March 1, her car, a white 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix with the Tennessee license plate number 814WXN, was found abandoned and burned in an empty farm field off U.S. 41A, southeast of Murfreesboro. It wasn't until Tyler reported her missing a few days later that police realized the vehicle was hers. Authorities determined it had been set on fire intentionally. The blaze destroyed whatever clues might have been there.
Shelley is a graduate of General McLean High School and Middle Tennessee State University, and worked as an eighth-grade reading teacher at Harris Middle School at the time of her disappearance. She had the day off of work on March 1, which is part of the reason no one immediately realized she was missing.
She and Tyler, who had divorced in 2009, had a troubled relationship. He was charged after he allegedly tried to run her vehicle off the road. He was also suspected of vandalising her home twice, although no charges were filed in those incidents.
Tyler moved out of his home shortly after Shelley's disappearance, the same day investigators searched it. Police said he had been somewhat cooperative with the investigation, but he didn't participate in the search for her.
After Shelley's disappearance, her parents got in a custody battle with Tyler over the couple's daughter. Witnesses testified that Tyler used and sold illicit drugs and was violent, and that he verbally and physically abused Shelley. In a court deposition for the custody case, Tyler refused to answer most questions about the day of Shelley's disappearance and Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination approximately 150 times.
A specialist in forensic interviews with children asked Lilli about the day Shelley disappeared. Lilli said she and Shelley went to Tyler's home and she stayed in the car while her mother went to the door. Lilli stated that later, she was taken to her bedroom with the door closed, and told not to come out. She never actually saw her mother inside her father's house.
Shelley's relatives were eventually given custody of Lilli, as the court thought Tyler was an unfit parent due his drug activity and history of domestic violence. Tyler's family appealed this decision, but lost.
Tyler moved to Florida after Shelley's disappearance. In October 2014, he attacked his girlfriend on his speedboat, threw her into the water and tried to hold her under. Two other boaters passing by came to the woman's rescue and Tyler fled the scene.
When the girlfriend reported the incident, he was arrested and charged first with battery and then with attempted murder. At his trial, his defense argued he had simply lost his temper and had not intended to kill his girlfriend. He was convicted of second-degree attempted murder and sentenced to twelve years in prison. He remains a person of interest in Shelley's case.
Foul play is suspected in Shelley's disappearance; it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning and her loved ones said she would have never abandoned her daughter. Her case remains unsolved.
- Bedford County Sheriff's Office
- Rutherford County Sheriff's Department
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 27, 2019; middle name added, details of disappearance updated.