N. TOPSAIL BEACH, ONSLOW COUNTY - Newly-released warrants reveal why a woman has been charged with murder in connection to two men found dead at North Topsail Beach over the summer.
The investigation began on the night of July 25, when the bodies of 31-year-old Christopher Stewart and 31-year-old Robert Clinton Shellhammer IV, both of Sneads Ferry, were found in North Topsail Beach, between Ocean Drive and the Village of Stump Sound.
Both men were discovered with several stab wounds, and one knife was found at the scene, deputies said. According to the medical examiner, the victims died from blood loss caused from an "incised wound to [the] neck."
Shellhammer's wife, 19-year-old Bekka Shellhammer, has been charged with murder in Stewart's death, but not her husband's. She is still in jail under a $1 million bond.
According to newly-released warrants from the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, Christopher Stewart was working as an informant for the Holly Ridge Police Department. Stewart made a controlled sale of narcotics to Robert Shellhammer IV, and that was how deputies became aware the two men knew each other, the warrants stated.
According to the warrants, Robert Shellhammer IV became an informant as well.
The warrants also state that Bekka Shellhammer told investigators she and her husband drove from Toledo, Ohio, to North Topsail Beach on July 25. She claimed her husband wanted to give her a big wedding that he could not previously provide. Bekka said she and husband were having a romantic stroll on the beach when a stranger attacked them, according to the warrants.
The warrants continued to say that Bekka Shellhammer told deputies the attacker was on top of her husband, so she placed her hands on the attacker's shoulder to roll him over. Bekka claimed her husband then told her to run to their car to get help. She said when she realized she didn't have the keys and went back to the scene, she found her husband dead. Bekka said she then ran to a home on the 400 block of Ocean Drive to call for help, according to the warrants.
Bekka Shellhammer suffered wounds to her hand during the incident, said investigators.
Deputies said based on their initial investigation, they believe Robert Shellhammer IV was probably in a dispute with Christopher Stewart before their deaths.
Bekka Shellhammer claimed she never met Stewart before that incident, according to the warrants. But deputies said they later determined that Bekka had been calling and texting Stewart repeatedly in the days leading to Stewart's death.
Stewart did not know the calls and texts were from Bekka Shellhammer; he thought they were from another "girl" who wanted to meet him on the night that he was killed, according to the warrants.
When deputies later searched Bekka Shellhammer's car, they found several knives and evidence that appeared to be blood, the warrants stated. In addition, both Bekka and her husband had recordings and photos of Stewart's vehicle and home, taken just days before the deaths of both men, according to the warrants.
Onslow County deputies and North Topsail Beach Police are working together on this case.