Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Sheridan Wahl: Mystery surrounds death of missing Florida student after body found hundreds of miles from home

The 21-year-old was found dead behind a fire station beside a highway after telling her mother she was driving back to Florida from South Carolina

Independent Staff
Thursday 23 September 2021 21:05 BST
Sheridan Wahl
Sheridan Wahl (Wahl family)
Leer en Español

The body of a missing woman from Florida has been found behind a fire department in South Carolina, hundreds of miles from home.

Sheridan Lynne Wahl, 21, who was studying marketing at the University of South Florida, was last heard from around 1pm on Sunday 19 September in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she is said to have been visiting her father.

On Tuesday, however, officials in Florence County, South Carolina said they had found her body behind the Hannah-Salem Fire Department nearly 45 miles away. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Ms Wahl’s mother Kelly Wahl confirmed her death sand said her family was “heartbroken beyond belief”.

Mrs Wahl said: “Sheridan was our cherished and loving daughter, sister, niece and friend. She will be missed more than words can ever express.

“Please note that the case has yet to be closed... in the meantime, the family graciously requests that their privacy be respected and deeply appreciates the outpouring of love and support from all.”

Ms Wahl’s body was reported to Florence County officials at around 8:40am on Tuesday, county coroner Keith von Lutcken said.

According to the TV news station WPDE, citing a police report, Ms Wahl had travelled to Myrtle Beach to visit her father, who later told police she had never showed up.

On Sunday afternoon, she called her mother on FaceTime while trying to rent a scooter on South Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, saying she had been refused service for not wearing shoes.

When she said she planned to drive home to Tampa, Florida, about nine hours away, her mother advised her to stay in Myrtle Beach for the night. After that, however, all calls went to voicemail.

Ms Wahl was found two days later behind the Hannah-Salem-Friendfield fire station in rural South Carolina. The station, just a small metal engine shed with three garages, is on the side of US route 378 and would have been on her route home.

Employees at the scooter rental shop told WMBF News that her father had visited them on Monday to inquire after her. The Myrtle Beach Police Department said on Facebook that she had “left [its] jurisdiction safely” before her body was found.

A memorial GoFundMe page set up by Ms Wahl’s friend and roommate Elizabeth Echenique I described her as “a person with a pure heart of gold” who was “always trying to make her friends and family feel loved and accepted”.

Ms Echenique wrote: “Sheridan was 21 years old with so much going for her. Her mother and father are amazing, loving parents who I know to have always supported Sheridan.”

“She was an amazing musician and many times would sit down to make music for fun and relaxation alone and with friends. She loved fashion and was very healthy. She was spontaneous and knew how to make you laugh.”

She added that Ms Wahl’s car had been found crashed on Monday and that witnesses reported a white man driving away from the scene. However, that has not been confirmed by local police.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in