Death of missing Millersville baby’s mom now ruled a homicide

Zaylee Grace Fryer, Shauna Fryer

MILLERSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There is new evidence, new leads and a renewed passion to solve a cold case out of Millersville in Robertson County.

This May, it will be four years since Shauna Marie Fryer was pulled out of the Cumberland River in Nashville.

How she got there and the circumstances surrounding her death remained unknown, but a bigger question remained: Where is her four-month-old daughter Zaylee Grace?

The baby girl was never found.

Shauna Marie Fryer, Zaylee Grace
Shaune Marie Fryer holding Zaylee Grace

News 2 spoke with Fryer’s husband Michael in 2011 when it happened. He is not Zaylee Grace’s biological father.

“She’s like my best friend,” he said. “You hear about this stuff happening. You never expect it to happen to you.”

Michael Fryer said he believes his estranged wife was murdered, but the case went cold.

But now, police in Millersville say new forensic evidence has created new leads.

Chief David Hindman said the evidence points to Shauna Fryer being killed in the city of Millersville, perhaps near her home, then dumped in the river in Nashville.

“We have solid evidence that things are of foul play and we need answers because of this report we received,” he said.

The report was by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Hindman added, “We are looking at a couple of individuals as suspects.”

If baby Zaylee Grace is still alive, she would be four years old. The chief is holding out hope.

“We are looking at this as the child is alive until we find out different,” he said. However, Hindman admits it’s a very real possibility the child was swept down the river.

The new evidence has turned the unclassified case into a homicide investigation.

Many people will be re-interviewed, including Zaylee Grace’s biological father, who was ruled out as a suspect years ago due to being incarcerated at the time of the crime.

Governor Bill Haslam announced a $5,000 reward in Zaylee’s case in July 2011. Anyone with information is urged to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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