The boyfriend of a Hernando County teacher was arrested early Tuesday morning following a nearly day-long search that began after deputies discovered the teacher’s body.
Jerome Sheridan, 49, was found Monday evening in the Citrus Mall parking lot in Hillsborough County by sheriff's deputies. He was attempting to cut his wrists, according to authorities.
He was taken into custody and later was charged with first-degree murder after admitting to the crime, deputies said.
Sheridan became a person of interest to deputies after they found Lee Anne Shoeman dead Monday morning at 1267 Meredith Drive, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were checking on Shoeman’s well-being after she failed to come into work at Central High School in Brooksville.
Students mourned Shoeman Monday.
"If you needed help, she would stay after school," student Sean Morzowski said.
"I personally was behind in my class, and she helped me get to where I needed to be," student Patrick Evans said.
When the English teacher failed to come to work, her students knew something was wrong. Shoeman rarely missed class or a chance to help students.
"She would take her personal time and help the students out who needed help in class,” Morzowski said. “If you couldn't make it after school, if you had a job, she was always there before school. Just truly
a great teacher.”
Kids and students at Central High spent the afternoon speaking in hushed tones, some of them in tears and in disbelief.
"Cause of death is definitely homicidal violence. But I'm not going to speak anymore as to exactly what happened," said Hernando County Sheriff Al Neinhius from the Spring Hill crime scene.
Shoeman’s three grown-up children are driving in from across the country.
"I knew they had domestic problems, but I didn't think it was that bad," said neighbor Jim Goldade.