MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – Deputies in Manatee County are actively searching for a Bradenton woman reported missing earlier this week and, according to a sheriff’s office spokesperson, are following up on leads in the case.
Authorities say 38-year-old Stephanie Shenefield was last seen Friday, June 3 near 16th Street East and 53rd Avenue East, which is in a residential area of Oneco.
Friends of the mother of two told WFLA Thursday that Shenefield was supposed to attend a concert and spend the night Friday in Ybor City. However, the friend she was planning on going with wasn’t able to contact her earlier that day.
“This is not like her. She stays on social media, she is very social with people,” said Jennifer Massrock. “After this amount of time and her not connecting with anybody and her phone being completely dead since then, something is not right.”
“She has been planning this trip for four months. She has been super excited about it,” her close friend Gina Merrow said. “She had started a new blood pressure medicine and she had talked about not feeling that good but she was still going, she was still going to go.”
Two days later, when the 38-year-old didn’t show up for a shift at Papa Joes Sports Bar, her friends reported her missing.
“We all love her and this is so uncommon for her right now that we can’t fathom what kind of happened,” Shenefield’s roommate Timothy Parker said.
In a post on social media earlier this week, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said Shenefield “has a medical condition and recently demonstrated behavior that has family and friends concerned.” The 38-year-old woman is 5’4″ and approximately 150 pounds, according to the post.
Friends and loved ones tell WFLA they are offering a $16,000 reward for information that leads to her whereabouts. They’ve posted several flyers with a photo of the mother of two in the Bradenton area, hoping it will help bring her home safely.
“We’re really having a hard time. It’s just taxing. We just want to find her,” said Massrock tearfully. “If anybody knows something, please – somebody knows something, somebody has seen something – just please get in touch with anybody, be anonymous, just tell us where she is at, we want to find her.”