$3K reward offered after missing Riverview girl found dead, officials investigating as homicide

Janessa Shannon discovered dead in nature preserve
Posted at 1:14 PM, Jul 14, 2017

Investigators are asking for the public's help in getting more information about how a 13-year-old girl from Riverview ended up dead.

Janessa Shannon, 13, was reported missing by her father on July 3. Investigators say she initially disappeared on July 1. On Friday, July 14, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children issued an alert asking for the public's help to find the missing child.

Shannon had gone missing in the past, said Colonel Donna Lusczynski of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

A body was found on Wednesday, July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve at 13305 Balm Riverview Road and was badly decomposed. Officials said that they were unable to confirm that it was her and needed a medical examiner to assist them.

HSCO investigators said. With the help of the medical examiner, they determined the remains were the body of Janessa Shannon.

Janessa's family and friends say they're devastated.

"I don't get to say anything to her ever again," said Michelle Mosley, Janessa's mother at a vigil in Palmetto on Sunday. "I can't even have an open casket for my daughter."

Investigators searched the teen's father's home after obtaining a search warrant. That is the last place she was seen, deputies said.

HSCO was tightlipped as to whether Janessa's father is a person of interest. 

"We are not focusing on any one person at this time," Lusczynski said at a press conference Monday morning. "We want to make sure we are talking to everybody who could possibly be involved."

Investigators are now going through all of the teen's social media accounts to try and determine where she was and anyone she may have spoken with in the days leading up to her death.

The community and family friends are stepping up to help Janessa's mother lay her daughter to rest.

"We want to let them know they're not alone," said Wayne Washington, a family friend.

But Janessa's family is still consumed with grief.

"This is what I have left: pictures," her mother said. "Memories. And that's all I have left."