HOUSTON - The death of Houston Instagram influencer Alexis Sharkey is still a mystery more than three weeks after her naked body was found in a ditch near the Katy Freeway.
Sharkey’s mother is opening up for the first time about the struggle she went through to see her daughter’s body for a final goodbye.
"I didn’t think I was gonna get her, and I had actually given up hope, when all of the sudden the forensics lab called me," said Stacey Robinault.
Sharkey’s mom told FOX 26 she didn’t think she’d get to see her daughter again, as one week turned into two with no ability to plan a funeral. Her husband, Thomas Sharkey, was listed as next of kin.
"As her husband, he would have primary custody of what determined what happened with her, and he had said all along that he was willing to let her come home," said Robinault.
Robinault wanted to bring her daughter home for a funeral in her hometown in Pennsylvania--Sharkey had only lived in Houston for about a year--but she couldn’t do anything without next of kin approval, and she says Tom stopped cooperating.
"It just was a very strange—I’d almost call it—fight to get her," said Robinault.
Tom Sharkey hasn’t responded to FOX 26’s interview requests.
After two weeks with no action from Tom, the medical examiner changed next of kin custody to Lexi’s mom, and on Friday they finally had a viewing.
"We had just the very closest of family," said Robinault. "It was very private."
Some of Lexi’s closest friends flew up to Houston to say their final goodbyes at the viewing.
"We thought it would give us more closure than it actually did," said Ally Cale. "We did get to see her body. It just- it didn’t look like her."
"None of us had seen her since Christmas last year, so it was just really important for us to see her," said Robinault.
Alexis Sharkey’s autopsy hasn’t been released as investigators await the results of a toxicology report.
Lexi’s body was found with no visible signs of injury. Experts have speculated she could have overdosed, but Lexi’s close friends say they do not believe that.
"If she did overdose, someone did it to her. She didn’t do that to herself," said Chelsea Turnbow. When we would go out, she would never want to do any of those kinds of things. We’re not really a friend group that’s like that. We’re moms. It’s not like we’re some crazy young 20-year-olds who just go out, we go to dinners and we have drinks with each other ."
Houston police told FOX 26 Tuesday they are still investigating and are naming any suspects or persons of interest.