Marianne Shockley Death, Obituary – In what the county sheriff referred to as “one of the oddest cases that we’ve ever worked,” a University of Georgia professor’s body was discovered outside a hot tub, her partner was taken into custody, and another guy reportedly committed suicide.
According to a Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Sydney Clark Heindel, 69, called 911 at around one in the morning on Sunday to report that a woman had been submerged in the hot tub at his Milledgeville residence for a few minutes and was unresponsive. Marianne Clopton Shockley was found on the pool deck, naked and unconscious, and she was gushing blood from a head wound when deputies arrived. Shockley was receiving CPR by Heindel and “another nude male individual,” identified as Marcus Allen Lillard, age 41.
An autopsy showed Shockley, 43, was strangled, CBS affiliate WMAZ-TV reports. Police told CBS affiliate WGCL-TV that Lillard had only known Shockley for a few months but the two were dating.
The incident report states that when emergency medical personnel arrived, Shockley had no pulse and was pronounced dead. Professor of entomology at the University of Georgia, Shockley. Greg Trevor, a spokesman for the institution, wrote in an email, “On behalf of the university, I’d want to convey our profound sympathies to the family, students, and colleagues of Dr. Marianne Shockley.” According to Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee, the death may have been caused by alcohol, according to WMAZ-TV. He is currently awaiting the toxicology findings to see if narcotics also played a part.
Lillard said he had been in the woods for about 15 minutes gathering firewood and when he returned he noticed Shockley “passed out” in the hot tub, the report says. The deputy noted in his report that there was already a large pile of firewood near the firepit by the pool and that it seemed odd to be gathering more because it had been raining heavily earlier in the day. When Shockley didn’t respond, Lillard picked her up from the hot tub, jumped in the pool, swam her to the other side, and set her on the pool deck, Lillard told deputies. Lillard said he fell while carrying Shockley and that’s how her head was injured.
When Lillard returned from the woods and discovered Shockley unresponsive, they dragged her out of the hot tub and began performing CPR, according to Heindel, who claimed to have been swimming at the other end of the pool where Shockley was at the time. Heindel claimed that Shockley’s feeble breathing suggested that she was regaining consciousness, so they delayed calling 911 until around 45 minutes had passed. Lillard and Heindel were separated by deputies, who put Lillard in the back of a patrol cruiser and Heindel on his front porch. The deputies then brought in a detective.
On the pool deck, deputies discovered a pair of glasses with what seemed to be blood on the pavement next to them. A woman’s bracelet was also discovered close in the grass, and they discovered two areas in the grass just off the pool deck that seemed to be stained with blood. A deputy went to Heindel’s porch to ask him a question but discovered that Heindel had left. According to the report, the deputy heard a “loud but muffled noise” while he banged on the screen door and yelled Heindel’s name. Heindel was discovered dead inside the master bathroom by deputies after what seemed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the report.
“It’s one of the strangest cases that we’ve ever worked … it was just sort of a bizarre type of case,” Massee said. Lillard was taken to the sheriff’s office for further investigation. The sheriff’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Monday afternoon that Lillard had been arrested on charges of murder, aggravated assault, and concealing the death of another.
Lillard was being held in the Baldwin County jail in Milledgeville, about 90 miles southeast of Atlanta. A sheriff’s office spokeswoman didn’t know whether Lillard had an attorney who could comment on the charges, and no online court records were available.
Tributes to Scott Weisbenner
As a result of the announcement of Marianne Shockley’s passing being made public, friends, family, and other people close to Marianne Shockley are going through a period of intense grief. I don’t believe that life should be viewed as something terrifying. In my opinion, it’s very similar to getting a soothing massage after a long day at the office. In the end, you will have to pick yourself up and head back to work at some point. To sum it all up, that pretty much sums up life, death, and the economy.