Young couple Megan Virginia Shaffer, 21, and Alexander Stevens, 24, made plans to hike through a Maryland state forest in January, but only one of them would make it out alive.
Stevens, whose family described him as a loving Eagle Scout, was found dead in the woods Jan. 4.
According to the Cumberland Times-News, the pair entered Savage River State Forest on Jan. 3 and hiked to High Rock, a small cliff located in the woods.
It was there that the young couple allegedly took off their clothes and decided to make the 33-foot jump off the cliff.
The following day, police found Stevens’s nude body on a nearby logging road — but he reportedly didn’t die from injuries suffered in the fall.
According to the Associated Press, Stevens’s throat had been “deeply” and repeatedly slit. A 7-inch blade was found near his body.
He also had broken ribs and a punctured lung that may have been from jumping off High Point.
Authorities also discovered strange objects, including used candles, a bag of clothes, and a live cat in a cage at High Point, where they jumped the day before. It’s unclear what the objects were used for.
Shaffer was found with broken bones in a nearby home on Jan. 4.
The girlfriend had called the police and told them she got lost in the woods all night after she thought her boyfriend died from the 33-foot fall, according to the AP.
She later gave authorities several different stories, claiming he died at High Point, died after they walked away from High Point, and even that he fell on top of the knife.
But police weren’t buying it — especially because Shaffer would benefit monetarily from her boyfriend’s death.Garrett County Sheriff’s Office
Just days before he died, Stevens arranged for $188,000 to be transferred to Shaffer upon his death, according to People. But Stevens’s father, Jay Stevens, got a judge to halt the transfer.
He told the AP his son had changed in the years leading up to his death, and he had a new interest in religion. But he was certain of one thing — his son wasn’t suicidal:
“He’d grown his hair longer, was reading about religions, thinking about his place in society. I never, never, ever, ever thought that he was suicidal. I know my son. He had all these plans to do things.”
Nine months later, police officially arrested Shaffer and charged her with murder.
Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch announced Thursday the girlfriend has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and assisting another to commit or attempt to commit suicide, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
The arrest came after an intense investigation by the Maryland State Police. Shaffer is being held at the Garrett County Detention Center and has yet to enter a plea.
Now, Stevens’s family continues to await justice.