Early days of Sheryl Sheppard's disappearance

Sheryl Sheppard was last in contact with loved ones January 2, 1998, and was officially reported missing January 4. It was January 7 when it hit newspapers.

Media coverage was delivered with a dramatic arc, starting with "Police scour waste station for missing exotic dancer," (view original article and transcript here), though later Sheppard's friends reported she hadn't been working as a dancer for some time. 

Disturbing to the unfolding events was the police's need to talk with Sheppard's fiancée Michael Lavoie who was evasive. The next day of coverage, "Mystery of kissing couple," (view original article and transcript here) revealed that although Lavoie agreed to meet with police, the next day he didn't arrive for questioning. He was later found in a storage garage with the car running.

Sheppard's coverage continues to a front-page story on January 9, 1998. The article "A mother's anguish" (view original article and transcript here) interviews Sheppard's friends and family, giving insight to her life, and describing her as reliable, friendly, and outgoing. It also continues to raise questions about Lavoie who, reporter Denise Davy notes, was not approved of by friends and family. Some even describe their relationship as tumultous, noting that they fought often.

Davy continues to raise questions about Lavoie. Although he alleges he last saw Sheppard as he dropped her off to work at a hotel in Niagara Falls to work, the manager of that hotel had never employed her.