Woman ID'd after body parts found in Orange County woods

Death investigation launched in Winter Garden

The dismembered body of a woman found in a wooded area near an Orange County liquor store has been identified.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office on Thursday identified the body as Ethel Shannon McCarson, 42.
The body parts were discovered Wednesday near Old Winter Garden Road and Cottage Hill Road in Winter Garden.

Orange County deputies said they're investigating McCarson's death as a homicide.

"Nobody deserves to take another person's life. Think about it, she's got a mom and a dad out there whose never going to see her again. If they can find the person who did this, bring them to justice, great," Eugene Hughes said.

Hughes tells News 6 he saw McCarson alive Tuesday around 2 p.m. near the Liquor Master. He says he remembers seeing her sitting by nearby mailboxes with a man and it looked like the two were arguing.

"The more I thought about it I said, 'You know what, maybe I should say something,'" Hughes said.

The Sheriff's Office is relying on those tips to help solve the case. Investigators put signs in front of the wooded area, urging anyone who saw anything suspicious over the last couple of days to call Crimeline.

Investigators searched a nearby dumpster and the wooded area on Thursday. The Sheriff's Office says usually when they identify a body they start getting answers, but in this case they have more questions. Investigators add no one recognized McCarson.

Sam Sarran, the manager of Liquor Master, said he hadn't seen anything suspicious around his store the last couple of days.

"It's kind of heartbreaking to hear what happened," Sarran said. "I mean, it's tough."

Detectives said people from a nearby bus stop were walking by, noticed the body at the edge of the woods and called 911.

"To live out here and come home and see this, you know, we have a business out here. It's hard, nervous about coming here," Sarran said.

"If anyone saw anything that looks suspicious, meaning any suspicious vehicles that may have stopped in the area of Old Winter Garden behind Duncan and Cottage Hill, if they would come forward and call Crimeline," said Lourdes Clayton, with OCSO.

Investigators continued to collect evidence into the night. Sarran said a lot of homeless people hang out around the area, but that has never been an issue.

"Pretty much, we know everybody," he said. "It's a little community here, and we know everybody that comes around here, so I wouldn't know who to look for, because everybody is so nice with us, and we're nice with everybody that comes here."

Court records show that McCarson has an arrest record. She was arrested in Bay County on charges of disorderly conduct. She was also arrested in Georgia on prostitution charges.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS. You could be eligible for up to a $5,000 reward.


About the Authors:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!