Mom: Woman found in barrel of water was murdered

Shannon Whyte's mother, Veronica, tiger print shirt, is comforted by a relative outside Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Friday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton
Shannon Whyte's mother, Veronica, tiger print shirt, is comforted by a relative outside Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Friday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

THE mother of a woman who police suspect died by suicide is of the firm belief that her child was murdered.

Speaking with Newsday, Veronica Whyte said her daughter, Shannon, 29, who was found dead on Thursday night, did not end her own life.

“I stand by my statement. That was murder,” Veronica Whyte said when asked if she wanted her sentiments expressed in the newspaper.

At the Forensic Sciences Centre, earlier, Veronica Whyte questioned the version of events that led to her daughter’s death.

“It doesn’t make sense. Why would you go in a barrel to shoot yourself? It doesn’t make sense. But I don’t know.”

According to the police report, Shannon, a former Newsday employee, was found in a barrel of water at her boyfriend’s Mon Repos, Morvant home at about 9.50 pm. The man, who was questioned and released, told police he came home from work just after 9 pm and found Whyte was not at home. He began looking for her, sawsomething looking like a wig floating in the barrel and when he went to get it he found Whyte submerged.

Newsday contacted Shannon's boyfriend on Friday and was told he could not speak as he was "not in the right frame of mind" at the time.

Police said when they removed her body from the barrel, they saw Whyte was holding a gun in her right hand. Her right elbow was bent and her hand was upward holding the gun with her thumb on the trigger.

A grieving Veronica Whyte said her daughter and the man had a rocky relationship that occasionally became violent. The couple had been together for just over a year, she said, and, despite her urging Shannon to leave the relationship, she did not.

Police said Whyte and her boyfriend had an altercation on Wednesday. A relative of the man told police he came home around 4 pm and heard noises but did not see anyone.

Veronica Whyte said her daughter lived for her seven-year-old, who was not fathered by her boyfriend, and didn’t believe Shannon would put her daughter through that trauma by ending her own life.

“Me and Shannon had our bad days but good days as well. We now start back to get back to where we were. She came back home and was fixing up her room. She was home by me a lot, just (last) weekend she was by me. She left and said she coming back on Monday. That was the last time I saw her.”

The day Whyte died, her mother  said her daughter called her own child and told her to prepare herself because she was coming to comb her hair. She said Shannon was always smiling and happy and showed no signs of being depressed.

Whyte, who was right-handed, was shot once in the right side of the head. Police said her hand would be tested for gun powder residue to determine if she fired the weapon. Her autopsy will be done on Monday after her body has been tested for covid19 as is the protocol.

Veronica Whyte added: “They (police) are not sure if it’s self-inflicted. But they found a firearm in her hand. So the post mortem is needed to find out if she fired the shot or not.”

Police have not classified the death, but suspect it was suicide.

A Glock 23 with 20 rounds of .40 ammunition was recovered.


"Mom: Woman found in barrel of water was murdered"

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