ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (WSFA) – It’s been 27 years since Chanty Shiverdecker’s body was found in an abandoned lumber yard. Decades later, the murder mystery still haunts the residents of the Alexander City community.
His brother, Christopher Shiverdecker, said he lived in a constant nightmare.
“It’s been 27 years since December 9th since she went missing,” Christopher Shiverdecker said, “I think what’s going to break the case is somebody comes up with information. Someone has information.
Christopher Shiverdecker believes the information will lead to an arrest. Her brother vividly remembers the years leading up to his sister’s disappearance and murder.
Chanty always made an impression wherever she went, he said. She was vibrant and always had a ball in her hand, and she had very distinct features, including platinum white hair.
“She was albino and had spinal meningitis as a child and left her eyes with a constant twitch,” Christopher Shiverdecker said, “but, even with all of that, she was always into sports.”
In her teens, Chanty Shiverdecker played basketball. So when her family moved to Alexander City in 1994, they saw it as a chance for a fresh start. Determined, the legally blind teenager tried out for the high school basketball team and passed.
“She was just amazing. Nothing stopped her,” Christopher Shiverdecker said.
In December 1994, Chanty and Christopher’s parents were going on a trip to collect some of the items they had left behind during the move. Chanty and her brother would stay. But soon that bright light stopped shining when it disappeared.
“She had basketball practice that day, and my parents wouldn’t be there,” Christopher Shiverdecker said, “She was told to call me for a ride.”
Chanty was told to call her brother from a school phone at Radney School, where they were training, to pick her up. Christopher was home waiting, but the phone never rang.
“It didn’t seem strange until about 9 p.m., and even after that it’s like, well, you know, maybe she decides to stay out late because the parents aren’t at home and that we are children,” he said. “But, around 10 a.m., I started to get nervous.”
Christopher Shiverdecker jumped in the car and drove off to find his sister. After about an hour, he called his parents, who told him to contact the police.
“After that things got really bad,” Christopher Shiverdecker said.
Soon things turned sour and the police began to investigate. Her family still hoped that she would come back soon.
“She had a basketball game the next day, and it was her first big game,” Christopher Shiverdecker said. “Seeing that she was legally blind and tried and made the team, that was a big deal for her. She definitely would have been to the game and gone home the next day.
Unfortunately, she never showed up. From there, lots of reviews and questions for Christopher Shiverdecker’s family. Many people in the community were suspicious of his brother, “the new kid in town,” and his family.
“We were new to this area, and I was the only one at home when they were out, and the rumors started going around,” Christopher Shiverdecker said. “It eventually made me drop out of school and get my GED instead. It was very tough and kids can be cruel.”
In the midst of this ongoing trauma, a devastating break in the case. In February 1995, the body of a teenage girl was found in an abandoned lumber yard off Highway 9 in Coosa County. The person who made the grisly discovery noticed a distinct feature: platinum white hair.
“From what I understood, it was a guy looking to buy the land,” Christopher Shiverdecker said. “He went there to check out the area, and that’s where he made the discovery.”
For years, these questions and this mystery have truly plagued the Shiverdecker family. Authorities immediately ruled the death a homicide, but did not specify the cause of death. Now, says his brother, there is so much renewed hope.
“I would say for the first time in a long time, I’m very optimistic about this,” Christopher Shiverdecker said. “We are meeting with the authorities again. People are talking about it on social media. There was a podcast and some interest in the “True Crime” community.
Alexander City Police Detective Drew Manchen has been on the case and said Central Alabama Crimestoppers and the governor’s office offered a reward in the case.
“We actively read everything, investigated, talked to people for several years,” said Manchen. “We follow every lead we receive until we’ve exhausted everything.
“I believe what’s going to break the case is someone coming up with information,” Christopher Shiverdecker said.
His brother says he will never stop looking for answers until someone shows up.
If you have any information regarding this crime, please call Alexander Police Detective Drew Machen immediately at 256-329-6746 or CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP.
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