Hiker that found the remains of Janessa Shannon speaks

Posted at 11:43 PM, Oct 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-29 23:43:45-04

The hiker who found 13-year-old Janessa Shannon's remains in the woods is speaking exclusively to ABC Action News.

She said she spends time honoring Janessa's memory at the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. Irina Florianovich remembered the July day when she made the heartbreaking discovery.

“You can see that something was not right because it was a lot of birds, a lot of vultures," Florianovich said.

Florianovich was walking with her dog and her own 13-year-old when she found Janessa's remains.

“Hoodie, lots of bones, garbage bag nearby,” Florianovich said. “It’s not gruesome, it’s a horrible discovery, it’s horrible to realize that this life is over.”

Hillsborough County deputies arrested Janessa Shannon's father, Nahshon Shannon, after a three month investigation. Documents reveal a screw matching Nahshon's shovel was found at Triple Creek Nature Preserve near Janessa's body. They also said he lied to a deputy about exchanging Facebook messages with Janessa during the time she was missing.

“She had all her life in front of her, everything and it was just stolen, looks like violently,” Florianovich said.

Florianovich said she feels like she knows Janessa.

“I cannot imagine how the people who actually loved her could feel, and I feel, I feel for her family,” Florianovich said.

“When we walk past, it still draws you for a second or so just to remember that, that’s where she was found.”

Nahshon Shannon entered a not guilty plea last week. Janessa's mom plans to be in court Monday and said she just wants justice for her daughter.