Forensic exam shows Texas woman committed suicide in Cherokee Co - KOAM TV 7

Forensic exam shows Texas woman committed suicide in Cherokee County by burning herself

Shannon Fonda Shannon Fonda
News release by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation have been investigating the death of 35 year-old Shannon Fonda since her body was discovered near Scammon on March 23rd, 2015.

After identifying Ms. Fonda, investigators made contact with her family in Texas, and learned it was not uncommon for her to leave home without notice for periods of time.  

During the course of the investigation, detectives conducted numerous interviews documenting Ms. Fonda's departure from Midland, Texas on March 14, 2015.  Based upon those interviews, surveillance video from several establishments Ms. Fonda stopped at along the way and financial records, authorities know that Ms. Fonda was traveling alone and ran out of money leaving her stranded in Cherokee County. 

An autopsy on Ms. Fonda was conducted in Kansas City and it was noted that while she had non-life threatening cuts, which were consistent with self-inflicted injuries, her death was caused by severe burns to 90 % of her body.

Crime Scene Investigators collected numerous items at the scene and DNA testing along with other forensic examinations were conducted.  All testing, including DNA analysis on the gas can at the scene, showed Ms. Fonda was the only one who handled the gas can.

As a result of the investigation, Ms. Fonda's death is being ruled a suicide.


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