Shakara Carter Murder Case: Who Killed Her and Why?

Shakara Carter Murder

Shakara Carter Murder: How Did Shakara Carter Die? Who Killed Shakara Carter? – Starkinya Vance’s body was discovered on Thanksgiving Day 2006 near New and Grant Street on Grand Rapids’ southwest side.

About 400 yards from where Vance was found in March 2007, Shakara Carter’s body was located along Chestnut SW. The two women were choked.

In September 2007, Linda Gardner’s charred body was discovered in a vacant lot on Randolph SW.

The murders all appeared to be connected. Officers searched for solutions and attempted to determine whether all of the murders were connected.

The “MURDERED: Shakara Carter” episode of the Crime Junkie Podcast focuses on the case’s investigation and its aftermath. Therefore, let’s learn more now, shall we?

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How Did Shakara Carter Die

Shakara Carter’s Cause of Death

Shakara Carter, 33, lived in Ohio with her family. She was a single mother of three who had experienced financial difficulties, which forced her family to adopt the kids. Shakara was close to her mother and used to talk to her frequently. According to her mother, the young woman intended to mend her relationship with her children and was in the process of doing so.

Shakara had recently undergone breast cancer treatment and had started attending church. But just as things seemed to improve for her, everything ended suddenly. Shakara was discovered dead on a Grand Rapids roadway on March 16, 2007. The 33-year-old had been killed by being strangled. At the scene, an automobile had attempted to exit the area that morning on a gravel road. The fact that it was yet another murder in the same area put tremendous pressure on the authorities to solve all of the murders.

Troy Brake
Troy Brake

Who Killed Shakara Carter and Why?

Shakara Carter was scheduled to give a deposition before her passing away regarding Scott Payne, whom she said beat and sexually assaulted her. Shakara, a sex worker, was picked up by a man in May 2004 and taken to a remote location. Then, after threatening to kill her, he started to choke and rape her. Another 22-year-old sex worker was attacked a few days later, but she lived. The following day, when she spotted the same man, she took note of his car’s license plate.

When the authorities obtained the attacker’s DNA from Shakara, it was made public that this proof connected three attacks that occurred in 1989. Similar to what occurred to Shakara, the ladies in those situations experienced sexual assault and death threats. Scott Payne, who had served time for armed robbery and had been released around two months before the attack, was later recognized as the attacker by the victim.

However, Scott was already incarcerated when Shakara was killed, and the police quickly noticed a significant lack of leads. They gradually investigated other prospective candidates and investigated whether Shakara’s murder was related to other nearby murders. Starkinya Vance’s body was discovered on Thanksgiving in 2006, not far from Shakara’s bones; she had also been strangled.

In addition, Linda Gardner’s burning body was discovered in a nearby vacant lot. The police investigated Troy Brake as a potential suspect after thinking about how the fatalities might be related. In September 2008, according to the authorities, he battered and nearly strangled a sex worker to death. Thus, it was impossible to ignore the similarities. Troy was sent to prison for a separate triple murder even though he wasn’t found guilty of these killings.

Shakara’s murder has not been solved, despite the police evaluating several suspects. Finding the offender was a top priority for her father, O’Neil Carter, in 2007, but he believed it would not lessen the grief of losing his daughter. Shakara’s murder was among many others whose victims were frequently involved in the sex industry or had drug problems.

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