A former resident of Richmond County, Newnan Howard Shankle, 75, currently of Westminster, S.C., was taken into custody by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 27, for a bizarre incident that occurred in 1993.
Shankle was charged in 1993 for mistreatment of a dead body, a death registration violation and 20 counts of obtaining property by false pretense, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Shankle was charged with fraud for receiving Social Security checks of the deceased person, said lawmen.
In an Associated Press story in 1993, lawmen accused Shankle, then 54, of putting the body of his deceased 91-year-old mother into a freezer at her local farm in Exway, N.C.
“It’s a bizarre case,” said Detective Billy Prevatte, of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, in the 1993 news story. “It’s the kind of thing you don’t see every day, and we’ve seen about everything.”
Shankle was first arrested in Georgia in January 1993. Authorities had searched for Shankle since November of 1992, said Prevatte, who traveled 250 miles to Hartwell, Ga., to assist in the original arrest.
According to AP, Prevatte said then that “reliable sources” told authorities that Shankle put the body of his mother, Mishie Greene Shankle, in a chest-type freezer. Investigators at that time had not been able to locate the woman’s body and could not determine whether foul play was involved, he said. “But we do not suspect it,” Prevatte said then.
Mrs. Shankle had not been seen by friends or relatives since December 1990, lawmen said. She was reported missing from her home in Exway by another son.
After his extradition from Georgia to North Carolina in 1993, Shankle was released on bond but failed to appear for court in the case.
A recent news release from the Sheriff’s Office about the arrest offers no details about what may have transpired in the last 19 years, or what led to Shankle’s recent apprehension. Several attempts to gain that information from the Sheriff’s Office on Friday were unsuccessful.
— Staff Writer Cassidy Odom can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at email@example.com.