Shaniesha Forbes was murdered by Christian Ferdinand. Relatives said they don’t know exactly how and when Brooklyn teen Shaniesha Forbes met Christian Ferdinand. But they all agree it was most likely on social media. Shaniesha Forbes loved to socialize on Facebook. The nice-looking teen spent her days as most young people do, chatting, texting, and meeting cute boys.
However, they met, 14-year-old Shaniesha Forbes fell hard for the 20-year-old man. They hooked up and talked daily. But Christian Ferdinand had a dark character, one that would reveal itself in the most horrific way.
Shaniesha Forbes never made it to her East Flatbush Brooklyn home in January of 2013. Her frantic mother filed a missing person report and waited nervously to hear something. She knew it had to be bad. Shaniesha Forbes wasn’t the kind of teen who’d walk away without telling her mother.
Days later, they got the news every parent dreads. Shaniesha Forbes was dead. Her naked corpse was located on the shoreline of Gerritsen Beach. Partially scorched, she was found next to what was left of a bonfire—a very confusing scene for detectives.
At first, the case wasn’t treated as a homicide and few details were released. But Shaniesha’s family and friends demanded justice. Missing persons posters were passed out and word of Shaniesha Forbes’ disappearance circulated on Facebook.
Months later, once the investigation was underway and the autopsy report was back, New York detectives had fresh information. Shaniesha Forbes was dead before the fire. And the likely cause of death was suffocation. They also believed whoever killed Shaniesha Forbes tried to get rid of the evidence by setting it ablaze. Police spent the next several weeks scouring through text messages and her social media correspondences to see if they could find the killer.
The criminal investigation led them back to Christian Ferdinand. But Ferdinand pretended he didn’t know what happened to the writer and future nurse.
When Christian Ferdinand realized police were eyeing him as a suspect, he fled to Maine and hid out, until detectives found him and transported him back to New York. During the police interrogation, Christian Ferdinand finally told detectives what he did and why. According to his confession, he argued with Shaniesha Forbes in his apartment because she refused to get rid of the baby. Then he suffocated her with a pillow and stuffed the body in a suitcase, leaving it in his home for days until he could figure out what to do with it.
Next, he dragged the suitcase of Shaniesha’s remains to the car and drove to the beach, where he tried to destroy it by burning it. When his plan failed, he left Shaniesha lying face-up in the sand and sped away from the scene. A cowardly act the family will never forget. The sad part—the autopsy report found that Shaniesha was not pregnant.
Her mother called Christian Ferdinand “a demon and a monster.” Before he became a suspect, police zoned in on a rash of nasty comments from jealous classmates, who bullied Shaniesha. In the end, Christian Ferdinand was left with a second-degree guilty verdict and twenty-five-years in prison to think about what he’d done.
The case has been the subject of a few documentaries. The newest one premieres this evening. Read about the show here.
[Main image via Facebook/Aroostook County Jail]