Name: Sheryl Marie Sheppard
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: January 2, 1998
Location Last Seen: Hamilton, Ontario
Date of Birth: September 29, 1968
Age: 29 years old
Height: 5'4" - 5'6"
Weight: 105 lbs.
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Nickname/Alias: Fisher. Maiden name is Sweeney.
Distinguishing Marks/Features: A heart tattoo on her left ankle.
Dentals: Available. Stained teeth.
Additional Personal Items: Unknown.
Sheppard, who shared a Stoney Creek apartment with her mother has been missing under suspicious circumstances since January 2, 1998. She may have been missing since New Year's Day. Sheppard was born and raised in Hamilton and attended Notre Dame High School until grade 10. She married at 21 but the marriage lasted less than six months. Her second marriage lasted one year. Sheppard and Branton worked at Tim Hortons at Sanford Avenue and Cannon Street East in Hamilton since it opened in September 1997. Her fiancÚ, Michael Lavoie, proposed to her live on Hamilton's ONtv/ Y 95 radio simulcast of a New Year's Eve party. She accepted the marriage proposal on this television appearance and that was one of the last times people saw her. Some people spoke to her on the phone after that, including her mother Odette Fisher, the next day.
Friends say Sheppard and Lavoie had dated for about two years, and Lavoie had moved into the apartment with Sheppard and her mother several months before.
Lavoie told police he last saw Sheppard when he drove her to work as an exotic dancer at the Concord Hotel in Niagara Falls on the evening of January 2, but police said she never arrived at the hotel. The hotel manager, who had been with Concord more than 20 years, said Sheppard had never worked there. Additionally, her friends said she hadn't worked as an exotic dancer for a while and were surprised to hear of Lavoie's report.
Friends and family say she had a stormy relationship with her fiancÚ. Branton said the two fought frequently, which is why she was surprised to hear Sheppard accepted the proposal.
Sheppard was supposed to have picked up her mother at the Pearson Airport on January 4, but she never showed up. A check of her apartment turned up her wallet and identification.
On January 7, Lavoie was found locked inside a rented storage garage in his car with the engine running at about 1:30 a.m. Lavoie was taken to Henderson Hospital in serious condition, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Sheppard's disappearance has been ruled a homicide and Lavoie has been publicly named as a suspect in the case.
Agency Name: Hamilton Police Service
Agency Contact Person: Detective Peter Thom
Agency Phone Number: (905)546-3843
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 98-501950
NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: Unknown
Canada's Missing North American Missing Persons Network CBC Hamilton The Missed Lives Project The Hamilton Spectator
Added: 5/18/2007; Last Updated: 4/18/2017
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.