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A Florida mother of four who had been missing for a week was discovered shot dead inside a storage unit belonging to her estranged husband — a convicted killer — who is now considered the prime suspect in her murder, authorities said.
The decomposing body of Shakeira Rucker, 37, was recovered Saturday at the Self Storage facility on Wiggins Road in Apopka, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release. The woman’s death is being investigated as a homicide.
“My heart breaks, I can’t imagine the pain and suffering [her family] have been enduring this past week,” Sheriff John Mina said during a press conference Sunday shared by WESH-TV. “We were all hoping for a different outcome.”
The grim find came after an intense search across four counties that involved officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, assisted by the FBI, working 16-18 hour days to track down the missing mom, officials said.
“It’s not the outcome we expected, but there’s a little bit of closure for Shakeira’s family,” Winter Springs Police Chief Matthew Tracht said Sunday.
Deputies had just wrapped up a search for Rucker in Mount Dora Saturday afternoon when they received a call from someone reporting “a smell emanating from one of the units” at the Self Storage in Apopoka, Mina said.
Rucker appeared to have been shot multiple times inside the storage unit, Mina said, adding that a full autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Cory Hill, 51, Rucker’s estranged husband, is the sole suspect and will eventually be charged with her murder, Mina said. The man has not been cooperative with the investigation, and the unit where Rucker was found dead was registered to him.
“Cory Hill could have stopped a lot of that pain and suffering by talking to investigators in the very beginning instead of putting them through this week-long nightmare,” the sheriff griped.
“The storage unit was registered to him, he had to have known that we would eventually find her in there, so it’s very, very disappointing.”
Rucker was last seen on the night of Nov. 11 with Hill in a restaurant in Polk County.
Her family said they last heard from the woman when she told them she was going to pick up food.
Last week, cops released a surveillance photo of Rucker and Hill together at the restaurant, and named the 51-year-old man a person of interest in the woman’s disappearance.
Just hours after Rucker’s last known sighting, Hill allegedly went to the home of his ex-girlfriend, Angel Milligan, and opened fire.
“I heard gunfire. I felt two of them pass by my face, went running in fear for my life,” Milligan told WESH.
Milligan and her family said Hill was upset that she had called his estranged wife, Rucker. She also claimed that the man threatened her by saying, “Don’t run now; I’m going to kill you,” Milligan said.
Following the shooting, Hill was booked into the Orange County Jail on four counts of attempted murder. He was already in custody for that when Rucker’s body was found.
Hill’s criminal record includes a previous murder conviction stemming from a 1992 shooting in Virginia that killed the man who had stolen Hill’s car with his baby daughter inside.
Hill was sentenced to 20 years in prison and was released in 2005, according to court records. He moved to Orlando in 2016.