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Shauna Maynard, 17, shot several times, left on side of road in 1998

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The family of 17-year-old Shauna Maynard, whose murder remains unsolved more than 25 years later, suspects the person who killed her was angry because she turned down their romantic advances.

For months, Shauna Maynard cut out her family – a family a quarter century later is pleading to find her killer.

Two passersby found the Norco, California native’s body on the morning of April 21, 1998, near the intersection of Blue Diamond Road and Decatur Boulevard – at that time, a desolate area of the south valley along the route between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

“She was challenging,” Inez Maynard, Shauna Maynard’s mother, told 8 News Now Investigator David Charns about her daughter.

“Fiercely independent?” Charns asked Inez Maynard.

“Yeah, she was,” Inez Maynard replied.

The family of 17-year-old Shauna Maynard, whose murder remains unsolved more than 25 years later, suspects the person who killed her was angry because she turned down their romantic advances. (KLAS)

In December 1997, after Inez Maynard, a mother of four, told her second-eldest daughter that she could not attend a Christmas party, Shauna Maynard decided she would leave home. The teenager graduated early from Buena Vista High School in Corona, California, in May 1997.

“Was it a job? Was it living life? Was it just having no restrictions?” Charns asked Inez Maynard.

“All of the above,” she said. “Freedom.”

That sense of freedom would ultimately lead to her death. Shauna Maynard ran away from home and moved in with a family friend in Las Vegas.

The crime scene at Blue Diamond Road and Decatur Boulevard is 15 miles away from that crowded apartment. Shauna Maynard’s body was several feet off the road. (KLAS)

In her teenage mind, it was a valley void of restriction. Her travels brought her to one apartment and then to a second near Las Vegas Boulevard and Owens Avenue in North Las Vegas.

“It was a living hell,” Inez Maynard said about the months of not knowing where her daughter was. “And I kept trying to find her and nobody in her circle would tell me.”

At the time of her death, Shauna Maynard was living in that North Las Vegas apartment with several women and their children. The rooms were small, and space was limited for the eight or nine of them, Las Vegas Metro police cold case investigator Terri Miller said.

“So rather than being on the streets, she probably put up with things she really didn’t want to deal with, especially being 17 years old,” Miller said.

At the time of her death, Shauna Maynard was living in this North Las Vegas apartment complex with several women and their children. The rooms were small, and space was limited for the eight or nine of them, Las Vegas Metro police cold case investigator Terri Miller says. (KLAS)

The Maynard family believes that included unwanted attention from both men and women, possibly some of the women she lived with.

“When you get denied something — I think that was what flipped the switch, per se, to stir the pot,” Inez Maynard said.

By Spring 1998, Shauna Maynard was working in a restaurant and making money babysitting. But something happened on April 21 that her family believes changed their lives and theirs forever.

Around 2 a.m. that morning, Shauna Maynard called a friend saying there was a problem at the apartment. Investigators believe Shauna Maynard and another person argued, Miller said.

Around 2 a.m. that morning, Shauna Maynard called a friend saying there was a problem at the apartment. Within hours, officers would find her body 15 miles away from where she lived. (KLAS)

“And she felt that they were going to hurt her,” Miller said.

In a time without cell phones and widespread video surveillance, what happened next remains unclear more than 25 years later. Around 3 a.m., a Metro police officer working in the south valley reported hearing gunshots, though he would not find any evidence in the darkness.

But by sunrise, officers found Shauna Maynard’s body on the side of the road. She was shot multiple times, including to her face, Miller said.

The crime scene at Blue Diamond Road and Decatur Boulevard is 15 miles away from that crowded apartment. Shauna Maynard’s body was several feet off the road. Miller said it appeared from how officers found her body that she was trying to run away.

Shauna Maynard had no belongings with her at the time of her death — no purse — and when police visited that apartment days later with a search warrant, all of her things were gone. (KLAS)

After months of not knowing where her daughter was, Inez Maynard finally had an answer.

“And then I had the coroner call me, and then it made it real,” she said.

And then there is this: Shauna Maynard had no belongings with her at the time of her death — no purse — and when police visited that apartment days later with a search warrant, all of her things were gone.

What did Shauna Maynard know? Or was it her family’s theory that she declined those come-ons?

Shauna Maynard’s body was several feet off the road. Miller said it appeared from how officers found her body that she was trying to run away. (KLAS)

“Someone takes a liking to her, and she doesn’t go down that pathway you know?” Andrea Maynard, Shauna’s sister, said. “And that person gets angry.”

Shauna Maynard would have turned 43 in 2024. There is no way to know what her dreams involving fashion and music would have become.

“There wasn’t any sense though that she would be in any danger?” Charns asked Inez Maynard.

“No, nobody wants to think that,” she said.

Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 702-385-5555 or at crimestoppersofnv.com/report-a-crime. Information can also be sent via text by sending “CRIMENV” and then your message to “CRIMES” (274637). Crime Stoppers offers a reward for information that leads to a conviction.

The Maynard family has also put up reward money to find Shauna Maynard’s killer.

In 2015, a person posted graphic photos online, claiming to have killed Shauna Maynard. Metro previously ruled this person out and determined the photos were not of her.

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