Step-father arrested for teen's death

By Becky Graham - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Rachel Folz - email

ROCKPORT, IN (WFIE) - Indiana State Police have arrested Ryan Lee Shelby, 32, for the murder of his step-daughter Alexis Oesterle.

He was arrested at 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. The cause of death has been determined as a loss of blood from a wound to the neck.

Shelby is preliminarily charged with murder. Formal charges will be filed next week.

Shelby will make his first court appearance at 8:30 Thursday morning in Spencer County.

Troopers say they are not looking for anyone else at this time.

Oesterle's body was found behind a shed in the backyard of her Rockport home Monday night.

Alexis, 15, was reported missing about 24 hours earlier.

On Tuesday morning, Indiana State Police were calling this case a death investigation but after the completion of Alexis' autopsy, it was declared a criminal investigation.

Tears rolled down Janine Nieves' cheeks as she remembered 15-year-old Alexis.

Tuesday morning, Nieves learned her friend was found dead Monday just behind her Rockport home.

"I don't understand why any one would want to hurt her," Nieves said.

Police say Alexis was last seen Sunday and reported missing by her parents Monday evening.

That's when the sheriff was called out to her Rockport home.

Indiana State Police told 14 News that a deputy started looking for Alexis.  That's when her body was found behind a shed in her family's backyard.

While police continue their investigation, neighbors deal with their shock over the death of such an outgoing and friendly young girl.

"I think it was a tragedy," Sandy Bartlett told our cameras. "It's scary that it happed right next door and I hate it for her parents and for the little girls because she was a sweet little girl."

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