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A Sad Story of Shannon Aumock

Shannon Aumock, then sixteen, had a difficult life leading up to her escape in May 1992. She was born in March 1976 to a young mother as a result of a sexual assault. She lived with her mother in Phoenix, Arizona, until she was three years old. When her mother realised she couldn’t care for her, she gave her to CPS. A family in Scottsdale adopted her. Shennon stayed with them until 12 years old. Then they sent her back to CPS as they faced critical behavioural issues.


Shannon moved from home to home, occasionally with a foster family. She did never find a place to call her own. She ran away from these homes 40 times because she felt alone and abandoned. Police searched for her every week between 1989 and 1991. She has to return to the facility.

A psychologist probed her when she was 10 years old due to her chronic running away. During the interview, the psychologist asked Shannon a rather startling question. What would she want on her tombstone if she died as a result of her running away? She responded a heartbreakingly, saying she would like her tombstone to be blank. No one cared for her when she was alive. Why would anyone care when she was dead?

Shannon ran away for the final time on May 27, 1992. A man riding his ATV between 20th Street and Deer Valley Road. It’s a remote desert area of Central Arizona Project Canal, frequently used for trash disposal. He was a part of search party, looking for the body of another missing girl, possibly Brandy Myer. Myer went missing two days before Shennon. He discovered a body of teenage girl after noticing a hand sticking out from beneath a piece of plywood. The girl died from strangulation and lying there for up eight weeks.

They made composite sketches and circulated photos of Shannon clothings. But no one could identify her. Subsequently they buried her in a potter’s field at Tempe’s Twin Butte’s Cemetery.

The home never reported Shannon as missing by the home from which she ran away. So it’s unclear if she was Jane Doe at any point. However, Jane Doe was identified as Shannon Aumock 20 years later. Her biological mother provided detectives with a DNA sample that matched the unidentified body discovered in 1992. Investigators were extremely fortunate that the biological mother was still living in the Phoenix valley at that time. They were able to make a positive connection.


Brian Miller was the only possible suspect in the murder of Shannon. He was a killer of Brandy Myer also. Brian Miller was an eccentric character who drove a truck with the words ZOMBIE HUNTER painted in large letters. He frequently wore elaborate costumes. He often took pictures with people in town, including some police officers. Police apprehended Brian in January 2015 after offering a ride to a woman. He repeatedly stabbing her in his car. Luckily the woman fled for help.

Investigators entered his DNA into a national database, which yielded results for two unsolved murders of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas along with Shannon. Both women disappeared while riding their bikes along the canal. Then their bodies were floating in the canal. Angela’s head was discovered after 11 days her body. Brian killed a thirteen year old Brandy Myer. She left her home in 1992 to collect signatures for her elementary school’s book-a-thon. Brandy was last seen knocking on a door. The ex-wife of Brian told authorities that he confessed to her about killing a young girl. He opened the door and dragged her inside. Then stabbed her to death. He dismembered her body and dumped it at a nearby recycling centre.


Brian was never charged with Brandy’s murder. His trial for Melanie and Angela’s murders began in October 2022. Shannon was exhumed from the Tempe pottery field and reburied at Sunset West Cemetery in El Mirage, Arizona.

She has a tombstone there, bears her name, Shannon Michelle Aumock. There’s her birth date and the date of discovery of her body. The inscription is, “I was once lost, but now I am found.” People frequently decorate it with flowers.

Previous article by Fehmeeda Farid Khan, Darren Jason Shannon Abducted and Disappeared

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

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