110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Apr 24, 2013 - 12:27:54am
The search for a missing 36-year-old Deltona man has become a murder investigation, and a woman who lives across the street from the victim has been charged in the killing.
The new developments in the disappearance of James Sheaffer came about on Sunday after human remains believed to be those of Sheaffer were recovered. Sheaffer’s neighbor, 40-year-old Angela Stoldt, has confessed to killing the man, the Sheriff's Office reported.
On Tuesday, April 23, investigators with the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Case Unit obtained a warrant charging Stoldt with second-degree murder, abuse of a dead human body and tampering with physical evidence. She was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon.
The victim, who resided at 1610 Horseshoe Terrace in Deltona, went missing on April 2. After he hadn’t been seen for two days, his father reported him missing to the Sheriff’s Office on April 4.
A limousine driver, Sheaffer was last seen after he returned in the early morning hours of April 3 from driving a client to Tampa and then dropped off his limousine at his work place in Deltona. He was later seen getting into someone’s vehicle, and his personal vehicle was left behind at his job. Sheaffer failed to return to work for his next assignment and hadn’t been seen since. Sheriff’s investigators had been trying to locate him ever since, but without success.
Investigators who canvassed Sheaffer’s neighborhood looking for clues to his disappearance had talked to Stoldt on more than one occasion. She acknowledged being friends with Sheaffer and said she handled some of his financial affairs for him, the Sheriff's Office reported. She told investigators that she last saw Sheaffer on April 5, even though family members hadn’t seen him since a few days earlier.
Then, the investigation took a turn over the weekend, beginning with a 911 call at 12:41 a.m. on Sunday from a relative of Stoldt’s who said she was acting suicidal and had admitted to family members to killing Sheaffer.
The caller told the Sheriff’s Office’s telecommunicator that Stoldt was hugging her children and saying goodbye. “Why’s she hugging her kids goodbye?” the dispatcher asked. “Because she came to the house and she told my parents that she committed a crime and that she’s being investigated for it.” When deputies arrived at the house, they learned that the family was referring to the Sheaffer disappearance, the Sheriff's Office said.
Stoldt initially declined to talk to Sheriff’s investigators on Sunday, and she was taken in for a mental-health evaluation because of her suicidal statements. But investigators were able to obtain a court order to search her house, where they located evidence indicating a crime had been committed there.
Sometime later in the day on Sunday, Stoldt contacted the Sheriff’s Office and said she had changed her mind and was ready to talk. And that’s when she confessed to stabbing and strangling Sheaffer and then disposing of his body, the Sheriff's Office said.
Stoldt then led investigators to a location where human remains were recovered. During the investigation, Sheaffer’s phone, identification and clothing consistent with Sheaffer’s work attire were also recovered.
Due to the condition of the remains, investigators have been unable to positively identify them as Sheaffer’s. However, the Medical Examiner’s Office has inspected them and confirmed they’re human remains. Officials are working to get a positive identification on the remains.
Stoldt was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, where she will be held without bond pursuant to the warrant issued by Circuit Court Judge Raul Zambrano.
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