Getting rid of the evidence the ruthless girls try and cover their tracks. Leaving the crime scene, the girls headed to a McDonalds at 9:30 am for breakfast. Because she was shocked over what had happened, Lawrence decided she needed to call someon. Rippey and Lawrence were driven home and Tackett and Loveless went back to Tackett’s home, where they attempted to rid the car of its crime evidence. Later that day the two girls told Heavrin and Crystal Wathen what they had done the night before. Though they did not at first believe, after seeing blood still in the trunk, the witnesses changed their minds.
At 10:55 am two hunters found the body. They contacted Jefferson County Sheriff Buck Shippley, who investigated the crime scene. When Steve Sharer realized that his daughter was not at home that morning, he began searching. At 1:45 pm he and his ex-wife reported her missing.
Panic-stricken, Lawrence and her parents went to the sheriff office just after 8 pm that same day. She told them what happened to Shanda and that there were three other girls involved. With this basic information Sheriff Shippley was able to identify the victim and Loveless and Tackett were arrested on January 12, 1992.
Prosecutors built their case around a plan to try the offenders as adults. However, all four defendants took plea bargains in order to steer clear of the death penalty. Tackett and Loveless were each sentenced to 60 years. If all goes well for these girls, they could be released in the year 2020. They are currently incarcerated at the Indiana Women’s Prison in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lawrence received a twenty year sentence; but with time reductions for good behavior, she was released in 2000. Rippey’s was sentenced to a total of 60 years of prison time. She, too, earned an early release in 2006.
In 2007 Loveless’ attorney, Mark Small, requested that the judge reconsider her sentencing , as he claimed that Loveless had suffered abuse as a child and, therefore, she was not in her right mind at the time of the crimes. Just 16 years of age at the time of the plea bargain, Loveless, he argued, was not even of legal age to sign her plea bargain. The debate went on for more than a year before the judge finally denied the request. Loveless remains incarcerated.
At the age of 53, Steven Sharer died. During an interview, his former wife stated that he died of a broken heart and killed himself by drinking.