SAN ANGELO, TX -- Shane Stewart and Sally McNelly attended a fireworks display at Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo on the 4th of July in 1988. The following morning, a lake ranger discovered Stewart’s abandoned 1980 Chevrolet Camaro parked near O.C. Fisher Reservoir, several miles from Lake Nasworthy.
Steward and McNelly were both listed to be missing. In November of the same year, the bodies of Stewart and McNelly were discovered in close proximity to each other and near the Twin Buttes Reservoir. DPS officials stated autopsies revealed both victims died of gunshot wounds.
On this July fourth Independence Day, Sally’s mother, Pat Wade remembered the two at their grave site 30 years later.
Sally McNelly would have been 48 years old in March of this year if she did not meet her unexpected end of her life on July 4, 1988. On her birthday every year, Sally’s family and friends place flowers on her grave and release balloons in memory of the young women who was gone to soon.
“Sally was light. She was joy.” Wade said. “That’s what I remember about Sally.” Sally was going into the Navy and she wanted to be a nurse. “She had her life together and she was pleased and content.”
Lieutenant Terry Lowe with the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigator on this cold case. “We get one shot to get someone in the courtroom, so we are gathering everything necessary so all parties are held accountable for this horrible act,” said Lowe. “This case is a big reason I am still doing what I do. I want to see this come to an end for the family of these two kids. Thirty years is too long.” To learn more about the cold case of Shane Stewart and Sally McNelly, visit our archives.