SNOW HILL – A Texas man is behind bars in Worcester County this week, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Christine Marie Sheddy, a Delaware woman reported missing in Pocomoke in November 2007.
Justin Michael Hadel, 19, of College Station, Texas, was extradited to Worcester County this week to face first-degree murder and other charges related to the death of Sheddy, whose remains were uncovered on the grounds of a Snow Hill bed and breakfast on Feb. 19. Hadel appeared in District Court on Wednesday for a bail review and was ordered held without bond.
Sheddy, then 27, of Bowers Beach, Del., was last seen on Nov. 13, 2007 in the Byrd Street area of Pocomoke. She reportedly left her home in Delaware earlier with her two young sons, ages two and four at the time, to live with a couple on a farm in Pocomoke. Sheddy also has an older daughter, now reportedly 10 years old.
On or about Nov. 13, 2007, the couple with whom Sheddy was staying with left the residence to pick up their own children at school. When they returned, Sheddy was gone and her two young sons were left home alone. She was reported missing and a massive search effort throughout much of the southern end of Worcester was undertaken to no avail.
For over two years, Sheddy’s disappearance was handled as a missing person’s case by the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Maryland State Police and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office.
During the investigation, information developed suggesting Sheddy was likely murdered at the farm in Pocomoke. Unknown witnesses told investigators Hadel was responsible for Sheddy’s murder and provided investigators with a potential location of her remains. It was revealed Hadel was a guest at the same residence where Sheddy was staying.
On Friday, Feb. 19, investigators searched the area described by witnesses as the possible location of Sheddy’s remains. During the search, a clandestine grave was excavated on the grounds of the River House Inn in Snow Hill. Clothing found on the deceased was consistent with the clothing Sheddy was wearing on the day of her disappearance.
Later on Feb. 19, the Worcester County Forensic Investigator for the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene and examined the human remains, which were then transported to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy. A week later, the state medical examiner’s office announced the human remains found in Snow Hill were indeed Sheddy. On March 1, it was confirmed Sheddy’s death was a homicide.
On Feb. 20, charges were issued against Hadel including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first- and second-degree assault. He was taken into custody and held in Texas until he waived extradition.
On Tuesday, Hadel was extradited from Texas to the Worcester County Jail. On Wednesday, Hadel made is first appearance in Worcester for a bail review hearing and was ordered held without bond. He is scheduled to make an appearance for a preliminary hearing on April 9.
According to the State’s Attorney Joel Todd’s office, the case remains under active investigation by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and WCBI, with the assistance of the Maryland State Police homicide team and the cold case unit.