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Toddler Found Clinging to Slain Mother

October 16, 1985

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ A 2-year-old boy was found hugging the body of his mother who was shot to death in a cemetery, and the child’s father was later found dead in their apartment.

Pierce County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Edmunds said investigators know of no motive or have no suspects for the killings.

″It is a double homicide. They were both gunshot victims,″ Edmunds said. Neither had a criminal record, he said.

An autopsy Tuesday determined the woman, Shelly Shearer, and her husband, Steward Shearer, died of multiple gunshot wounds on Monday, said Pierce County Medical Examiner Emmanuel Lacsina.

Their son, Cody, was treated for mild hypothermia at Lakewood General Hospital and was later released to family members in Tacoma, Edmunds said.

Two experts in dealing with traumatized children talked with the boy, but police did not speak to him directly, Edmunds said. The boy is too young to aid investigators, he said.

Cody was found at 7:30 a.m. Monday, huddled over the body of his mother in an undeveloped area of Mountain View Memorial Park.

″I didn’t hear anything, but I spotted movement,″ said Rich Rames, a landscaper for Pat Boring Landscaping.

″I walked up there and saw she was white and knew she was dead,″ Rames said. ″The boy didn’t have a jacket, but he did have a blanket. He was sucking on the blanket when I got him.

″I just wanted to get him out of there.″

Rames said one of the boy’s feet was bare, and the other had only a sock. He was wearing coveralls and a shirt.

″He told me he had a Mickey Mouse shirt on and I acknowledged that he did,″ Rames said. ″The boy didn’t say much, and I didn’t ask him many questions. I did ask him if (the woman) was his mother and he said, ’yes.‴

Mrs. Shearer had been shot at the scene, Edmunds said.

Police found a piece of paper on her body that led them to the family’s apartment, where they found the husband’s body.

He had been shot in the head, apparently at the apartment, Capt. Mark French said.

No weapon was found at either shooting scene, police said.

The family car was found at a third location, a department store, Edmunds said.

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