At vigil, family of Winter Springs woman found dead questions investigation

Shakeira Rucker was found dead Saturday night

PINE HILLS, Fla. – More than 50 family members and loved ones gathered in a neighborhood park to pay respects to a missing woman who was found dead over the weekend.

“My sister should’ve never been in that situation,” said Clarence Thorton, Shakeira Rucker’s younger brother. “Not in a million years would I thought my sister would’ve ever been in that situation, so if you’re going through anything like this please find help.”

Emotional, Clarence Thorton says it was touching to have family and friends honor the life of his sister.

Late Saturday night, Rucker was found dead from gunshot wounds at a storage unit off U.S.-441 in Zellwood bordering Apopka.

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“We were all hoping for a different outcome,” said Sheriff John Mina with Orange County who was joined by the multiple law enforcement agencies in a media briefing Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after Rucker’s body was found.

During the briefing, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said they were taking over the investigation.

Deputies say they were called to the area of the storage unit after reports of a foul smell.

The unit located at ‘Your Storage Units,’ was registered to Cory Hill, Rucker’s estranged husband.

Hill already faced a judge this past Monday and was charged with four counts of attempted murder for shooting at his girlfriend and family on Nov. 12 which was the same day Rucker was reported missing.

“He is the suspect, we are not looking for anyone else, he will be charged with the murder eventually,” Mina said.

Back at the vigil, Thorton questioned the investigation process into how they found his sister.

“Very disappointed because we told them that it could be the storage because all of his furniture wasn’t in the house,” Thorton said.

News 6′s Brian Didlake asked, “Do you have any more questions that you would want answered about the whole investigation and how it turned out?”

“Yes and for someone who works at the storage (unit) like how did you not know with all the cameras?” Thorton asked.

Those thoughts from Thorton were echoed by 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Andrew Bain, who showed support for the family.

“It’s frustrating, I mean I can’t make sense of that,” Bain said. “I can’t make them work faster and I can’t make them prioritize this case any faster.”

Orange County’s sheriff provided a possible answer during his media briefing Sunday.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of storage unit facilities in Central Florida and you know that wasn’t known until we received the call that was his,” Mina said.

Going forward, the state’s attorney’s office says they will be taking a moment to strategize before announcing any charges.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help care for Rucker’s children. According to the organizer, Rucker’s 18-year-old son will be caring for his three siblings. You can donate on the GoFundMe page.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.