"We were holding out hope that was her," Dodenhoff told AOL News. "We wanted her children, my grandchildren, to know that their mother did not abandon them."
Sheddy was living with her mother in Bowers Beach, Del., with her three children -- two boys and a girl, ages 2, 4 and 8 -- when she traveled to Pocomoke City, Md., in November 2007, to stay with Clarence Jackson, his girlfriend, Tia Johnson, and their friend, Justin Hadel. Sheddy knew Jackson and his girlfriend through her boyfriend, Levi Hall.
Courtesy of Lynn Dodenhoff
"Christine and I had a fight prior to her trip," Dodenhoff said. "At the time, milk was three dollars and something a gallon, and her youngest son loved milk. He could go through a gallon of milk a day. I mean, this was the dumbest fight on the planet. She was also very stressed out about problems she was having with Levi, so when this milk thing came about, she just exploded and I reacted. She then left with the two boys for Clarence Jackson's Byrd Road farm in Pocomoke City."
Roughly one week after arriving at the farm, Sheddy was ready to return to Bowers Beach. Things were not going well, and an accidental chimney fire that had burned a hole in the roof of the farmhouse only added to her discomfort. As a result, Sheddy was desperate to go home, but she was hesitant to call her mom, because of their argument.
"Christine was a very stubborn and proud girl," Dodenhoff said. "Rather than give in and call me, she reached out to her best friend, Jimmy 'Q' Quail. Following that conversation, Q called me and said, 'Christine wants to come home. Why don't you give her a call?' So I did, and I said, 'Won't you please come home?' She wanted to know why, and I told her, 'You have no heat there. I want you and the boys here.' "
In the end, Sheddy and her mother reached a compromise. She would leave the farm and travel to Philadelphia to stay with her sister, Jennifer.
"Jennifer had already said Christine could stay there," Dodenhoff said. "There are more job opportunities, people, places and things there. From my understanding, Levi was supposed to pick Christine up after work on Nov. 13, but she called Q and made a backup plan because she felt she could not rely on Levi. The last time I spoke with her I told her I loved her and she said the same back."
Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong between Sheddy's Nov. 10 call and Nov. 13, the date she was set to leave the farm.
"On Nov. 13, Jennifer received a phone call from Jackson, saying they had gone to run some errands, and when they got home, Christine was gone and the boys were there alone," Dodenhoff said.