Barbara Sheppard's killer still on the loose

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Two weeks have passed since 33-year-old Barbara Sheppard was slain in the alleyway next to the store where she worked.

“It’s been chaos, just wondering how to get through it,” Sheppard’s aunt Gail Six said it’s all been a blur but she’s trying to stay strong for her niece’s two boys, just three and ten years old.

“How do you find closure in something so bad?” Six said she knows her family will never heal or move on but they want justice. “Her boys need answers,” Six said

She wonders about that night each minute of every day, “What if we had done something different?” Six asked. “But a lot of what ifs are going to be in our minds for the rest of our lives.”

Barbara Sheppards’ friends and family are all in search of answers, there are a lot of questions. Six said it runs through her head nonstop, who would do this and why?

Those who knew Sheppard said her murder was not a random act and they all have their suspicions, “Even the person who I feel it is, I just don’t want to say,” Six said.

Sheppard’s boyfriend of nearly a year Jason Leyba found her body in the alley next to the Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco Store near Lincolnway East and Byrkit Avenue in Mishawaka. The 33-year-old got off work at 8 p.m. on Thursday December 22nd but she never made it home.

Leyba said he reported Sheppard missing around ten o’clock that night and when there was still no sign of her hours later, Leyba went to look for his girlfriend.

Just after 2 a.m. on Friday Leyba found her body and called 9-1-1, according to police Sheppard had been stabbed in the neck.

Leyba was brought in for questioning and released but later that afternoon police arrested him for possession of a controlled substance.

Sheppard’s ex-husband and the father of her two kids, Joe Wayer was also questioned that day; he was arrested for a body attachment issued for failure to appear in court.

Leyba and Wayer were booked at the St. Joseph County Jail, both posted bond, neither have been charged in Sheppard’s murder.

Police have not officially named any suspects in this case and no arrests have been made. Six urged anyone with any information to come forward, “Just wanting to know answers,” she said, “Answers to questions that her boys need to know when they grow up.”

Share this article: