‘A horrific incident’: New details released in cold case of slain Central Florida woman

EUSTIS, Fla. — A Central Florida cold case that has gone unsolved for eight years may have been a crime of passion.


No one has still been charged in the murder of Shelly Arnold. Last week, Arnold’s mother made a new plea for someone to help solve her daughter’s murder.

The only DNA found at the scene was from Arnold’s boyfriend who had apparently broken up with in the days before she was killed.

Since he would have been around her, it wasn’t enough to prove he had anything to do with the murder.

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A memorial for Arnold sits in an empty lot in Eustis.

Last week her mother, Brenda Hill, spoke out, wanting people to come forward with information.

On Wednesday, Channel 9 got a look at the case file, including crime scene photos, and spoke with Eustis police Capt. David Carney.

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“This is a horrific incident,” he said. “It’s one of the worst I’ve seen in my 28 years of law enforcement.”

Investigators said they believe Arnold was strangled and killed somewhere else, then moved.

At the scene, investigators believe her body had been tied to a tree by a red cloth, then put on the ground. She was found naked, but one of her black boots was found, as well as a sock, her pants and a jacket. But there was no blood.

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Arnold’s face had been removed and a tattoo was cut from her body.

Eustis police spoke to many witnesses who had seen Arnold and been with her in the days before her murder, but no one has come forward to say what happened to her.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Carney said. “And somebody out there has information for us that can lead us to the person that’s responsible for this.”

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Many of the people police interviewed who said they knew Arnold stayed in the area. Her boyfriend has since moved away.

The last tip they received was in February 2021.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.