Man Posed As Dead Wife for Over a Year to Cover Up Murder, Police Say

Jaimie Nicole Ivancic and Shelby Svensen.
Jaimie Nicole Ivancic and Shelby Svensen. Photo: Shutterstock, Tarpon Springs Police Department

In a disturbing case, Florida police believe that a 25-year-old man killed his wife last December, then posed as her for a full year to cover up the murder before killing her parents and brother.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the alleged first victim, Jamie Ivancic, 21, last spoke to her sister Karma Stewart over the phone on January 25, 2018. On that FaceTime call, Stewart says Ivancic told her she was planning on taking her two children and leaving her husband Shelby Svensen, who is now 25. After that, Stewart never again heard directly from Ivancic — but she, her family, and her sister’s friends would receive occasional texts and photos of the couple’s kids from Ivancic’s phone number.

When Ivanic’s family would try to speak to her on the phone, they say that Svensen would tell them to call back later because she was busy. Police haven’t said how long Svensen tricked people into thinking his wife was alive and fine, but Stewart says detectives have told her she was probably one of the last people to speak with her sister. “I feel betrayed and that I was played,” she said. “I didn’t expect the worst when I probably should have.”

Just over a year after that final call, on New Year’s Day, 2019, a number of Ivancic’s loved ones were found dead in their Tarpon Springs house: her mother, father, and brother. Svensen was initially a suspect in these three killings only. On January 3, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office caught him driving his wife’s stolen SUV in Ohio and arrested him on suspicion of murder; during questioning, he revealed that he had not only killed the family in question, but also his wife.

On January 8, detectives announced during a press conference Svensen had been charged with murdering Ivancic, whose body was discovered three days earlier, buried in one of the couple’s past homes.

While Svensen is reportedly awaiting extradition back to Florida, People reports he is currently being held in an Ohio jail on three counts of first-degree murder. At this time, authorities have not released a motive.

Man Posed As Dead Wife to Cover Up Murder, Police Say