Crime Stoppers: Indian Rocks Beach woman tortured with packing tape

9:49 PM, Apr 30, 2010   |    comments
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Indian Rocks Beach, Florida - Cindy Shauman was the type of person who would give you the shirt off her back.

She was trusting.

In fact, Pinellas detectives say she rarely locked her doors. That's the way she was raised in rural Illinois, in the type of town with one stoplight and a diner where everyone knows who you are.

"She's from an era in which they didn't lock their doors. They still don't in this area," says Pinellas Detective Mike Bailey.

She had a good life in Illinois with her longtime husband. He worked on a farm, and the two were seemingly the perfect couple and had two sons.

But, Cindy wanted more.

It wasn't as though the couple fought or had animosity.  Cindy's husband understood that she wanted to live a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.

She would find that in Indian Rocks Beach selling estate jewelry at her beachside condominium.  It wasn't just any jewelry, though. This was high-end, big money pieces.

It was worth millions.

Oddly enough, family members and friends had to talk the 46-year-old into getting a safe to store the jewelry.  She was that trusting.

So, she finally bought a huge safe, one that had to be installed and could never be lifted by human hands.

Cindy was good at her job.  Friends from up North and around the Bay area gave her pieces to sell. She would put the diamonds, pearls, rubies and rings in baggies in her safe.

Cindy would enlist the help of a friend to sell the pieces. She had a woman named Marci Greene come down from Illinois to live with her.

After all, the two were friends.

What Cindy may have overlooked is that Marci had an extensive criminal record and a harsh demeanor, detectives say.

Detective Mike Bailey calls Greene is the worst female criminal he's ever come across.

"She would take Cindy's car, smoke pot in her house. She was not a good person," Detective Bailey says.

Cindy soon realized this, and their friendship came to an end.

"Cindy sent her home before the murder happened. Listen, [she said] I caught you stealing, you didn't need to steal, go back up north, this is not happening," Detective Bailey told us.

Cindy would change the combination to her safe after she sent Marci home.

Three weeks later, investigators say, Cindy would be found dead in her condo.  They were shocked with what they found inside February 28, 2003.

Cindy and her husband would talk with one another like clockwork each day. He would call her from their farmhouse in Illinois. When he couldn't get a hold of her, he knew something was wrong and called police.

Detective Bailey remembers it like it was yesterday.

He got the call late that rainy afternoon and headed to Indian Rocks Beach from another unrelated crime scene.

He says, "It looks like she was tied to a chair and tortured, more than likely to give up the combination of the safe, which she never did."

Cindy was found in her pajamas.

She had been bound to an office chair with her own belts.  Her head was covered in brown packing tape, wrapped around her skull over and over again.

She had been dead, sources say, for more than a day.

"It looks like she was tied to a chair and tortured," Detective Bailey says. "You don't get deaths that often, it just doesn't happen like that."

She was tortured to get the combination to the safe, which she never gave.  She died at the hands of someone wanting the contents of the safe.

So, what exactly was inside?

Detectives were baffled and anxious with anticipation.  They had to call in a safe-cracker to open it.  Meanwhile, as investigators canvassed the condo, they observed that the person involved with Cindy's death wasn't very smart.

The killer or accomplice actually tried to use a butter knife to open the thick, steel safe, which had been left on it's side.

Detective Bailey describes it, "This was the safe smaller than a refrigerator. Stand up big safe, turned over on its side or back."

When they finally opened it, investigators were shocked with what they saw. They shook their heads and knew it would be a long night.

"Inside the safe was probably more jewelry than I had ever seen in my entire life. Probably a million dollars. It was Zip Lock bags full of diamonds, loose stones. We had to sit there and count all of those, gold jewelry-wise," Detective Bailey said.

This left detectives with even more questions.

Who did this? It was obviously someone that Cindy knew.  She was in her pajamas. There was no forced entry. She let the person in willingly.  There was no suggestion of robbery with items being out of place.

Detective Bailey believes it was Marci Greene, the woman who knew every nook and cranny of Cindy's condo, the woman who worked with Cindy, the woman who lived with her and knew her well.

Marci also knew the combination to the safe.  Or, did she?

Cindy changed it, and Marci never knew.

Detective Bailey says, "She had something to do with it. Yeah, there's so question [that Marci had something to do with it.]."

Marci Greene currently lives in Illinois and has never been arrested. Detective Bailey says there's not enough evidence in the case.

But, he says, he knows it was her.

He's interviewed her multiple times, and he admits that she's provided him with numerous false leads.

Cindy's husband came to the Bay area in his pick-up truck to retrieve her belongings and the millions of dollars worth of jewelry.

He has never been considered a suspect. The Sheriff where he lives provided an alibi for him.

To this day, Cindy's story remains a cold case.

If you know who killed Cindy Shauman, please call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County at 1-800-873-TIPS.

You could get $1,000 for your anonymous tip.

Melanie Brooks, 10 Connects

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