Authorities in Florida believe a man who is accused of murdering his in-laws also murdered his wife last year and pretended to be her to cover the crime.
On Tuesday afternoon, detectives with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office announced during a press conference that Shelby Svensen, 25, had been charged with the murder of his missing wife, Jaimie Nicole Ivancic.
Ivancic’s remains were found on Sunday by cadaver dogs searching the backyard of a home she and her husband had once shared in Port Richey.
Svensen is also accused of murdering his wife’s father, Richard Louis Ivancic, 71, his wife’s mother, Laura Ann Ivancic, 59, and their 25-year-old son, Nicholas James Ivancic, on Dec. 19 or Dec. 20.
The family’s bodies were discovered badly decomposed in their Tarpon Springs home on New Year’s Day.
On Jan. 3, Svensen was found driving his wife’s stolen SUV in Ohio. He was arrested in the murder of his wife’s family and later allegedly confessed to not only killing the group but also killing Jaimie a year ago and pretending to be her to thwart suspicion of her slaying.
Jaimie is the mother of the couple’s two children, who are 3 and 2 and were found safe inside a residence in Ohio.
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Detectives say Jaimie’s family became suspicious of the 21-year-old’s whereabouts after they were unable to reach her. Svensen tricked the family and friends into thinking she was alive by allegedly telling them she was unable to come to the phone or return their calls because she was busy.
In addition to dodging phone calls, Ivancic’s sister told the Tampa Bay Times she believes Svensen continued to send text messages and pictures of the couple’s children posing as his wife.
“I feel betrayed and that I was played,” Karma Steward said. “I didn’t expect the worst when I probably should have.”
The couple’s children are in the custody of Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services.
Steward told the paper she had urged her sister to leave Svensen before she disappeared but her pleas fell on deaf ears.
“I tried to convince her a couple times that she would be better off leaving him, just being a single mom with the support of her family,” Stewart told the paper. “But I don’t think she ever considered it an option.”
Authorities have not released a motive at this time. Jaimie is believed to have died of blunt force trauma while her mother, father and brother were beaten to death, a relative told the Times.
Svensen is awaiting extradition back to Florida. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf or if he has entered a plea of guilt or innocence.
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