‘It’s not fair’: Cassie Sheetz’s mother shares details of investigation

Arlene Shelton, mother of missing woman Cassie Sheetz, discussed the case with 5 News after what is believed to be Sheetz’s remain were found.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 2:46 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Its been two days since Arlene Shelton got the phone call.

On the other line, an investigator telling her remains believed to be those of her daughter, Cassie Sheetz, a mother of three who had been missing since going on a hike with two men in March, had been found.

“There were so many questions and so many thing running through my head that when I asked them I didn’t even hear the answers,” Shelton told 5 News.

West Virginia State Police say the remains were found Wednesday in the Monongahela National Forest.

It’s the update Shelton has known all along could be coming, but one she still wasn’t prepared for.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I never thought I would be burying my daughter.”

On March 11, Sheetz, went on a hike with two men. Not long after the initial hike, all three were reported missing.

Police reported the two men were found on March 12, one standing by a vehicle and the other coming out of the forest. As for Cassie, there was no trace of her.

WVSP say the remains were found by hunters in the northern Seneca Creek area, deep in a remote part of the forest.

Shelton says she was told her daughter was found atop a ridge, about eight miles from the nearest parking lot, and that investigators don’t believe Sheetz could have gotten there on her own.

She says some of Cassie’s belongings -- keys and clothing -- were found. Other items, like her cellphone, jewelry and sunglasses, are missing.

“If it wasn’t for the bear hunter going up there, we wouldn’t have found her,” she said.

Shelton described her daughter as a “beautiful soul.”

“She just trusted everyone, she was just so friendly, so outgoing,” she said. “And now we’re not going to have that anymore.”

The remains have been sent to the West Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification.

Shelton says her maternal instincts tell her foul play is somehow involved.

The investigation remains active and law enforcement have never identified any suspects in connection to Sheetz’s death.

Shelton says she hopes the discovery will lead to a breakthrough in the case and help bring closure.

“It’s devastated our family,” she said. “It’s not fair. I’d give anything to trade places with her.”

While funeral arrangements are still being made, Shelton says the service will be open to the public.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family.

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