A new status popped up Saturday on Kristen McShane’s Facebook profile: “I can’t believe I dropped my phone in the toilet. I’m such an idiot. Message me here, til I can get it fixed.”
Family and friends offered solutions (“put it in rice”) or use of their old phones. Her profile picture was changed the next day to a photo of her smiling and painting a snowman, then to a close-up of her sleeping daughter.
But it wasn’t McShane behind the Facebook account, Orlando police said Wednesday. It was her husband, 42-year-old George Joseph McShane, who posted the status on his wife’s account to throw off suspicion after he strangled her and tried to kill himself, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Family members became worried after Kristen McShane stopped answering calls and texts. An unnamed relative told police that she worried McShane would kill his wife and himself, the newspaper reported.
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When police arrived at the McShanes’ house around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, they found George McShane in his SUV in the garage with the engine running, the Sentinel said. Police said he was attempting to commit suicide.
He was arrested and charged with domestic battery by strangulation and second-degree murder. According to the Sentinel, McShane told police he updated her Facebook profile and messaged family and friends to try and convince them his wife was still alive.
Officers found his wife’s body in the couple’s bed under a comforter. Family members started several GoFundMe accounts to raise money for the funeral and to help provide for the couple’s two children, ages 4 and 6.
Loved ones posted mournful messages on Facebook when the news broke Tuesday. Many changed their profile pictures to a purple ribbon that reads “Love shouldn’t hurt” and “RIP Kristen.”
“This beautiful soul was taken away from this earth far too soon leaving behind 2 beautiful little angels all because of one persons selfishness and inability to let her go and let her be happy. Your smile and your gentleness will be missed Kristen,” wrote Kimberly Conway.
Finding help online
If you or someone you know is considering hurting themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
Confidential information and support is available 24/7 at the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.