Medical examiner: Fernandina Beach pet sitter was shot to death

Man arrested Thursday now charged with murder, police department says

Man arrested Thursday now charged with murder, police department says.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A day after a man was arrested in connection with the death of a beloved pet sitter, that man has now been charged with murder, according to a news release Friday from the Fernandina Beach Police Department.

Additionally, the Police Department said, Shawn Lamont Whigham is also facing charges of robbery home invasion, tampering with evidence, petit theft and providing false information to a law enforcement officer.

Furthermore, a police report released Friday confirmed a medical examiner determined the pet sitter, Colleen Marie Potts, died of a gunshot wound.

Officers were called to a home on South 13th Street on Oct. 24 in reference to a wellbeing check when they located the body of Potts, 73, of Yulee.

According to the report, a spent shell casing was found at the residence, but a firearm was not recovered. Investigators noted several shoe prints in the foyer of the residence, which did not belong to Potts.

The report states that Whigham was interviewed on three occasions and that he provided conflicting statements during the first two interviews. It states that during his third interview, Whigham admitted he fabricated the details of his prior statements and that he confessed to stealing about $300 out of Pott’s vehicle on Oct. 22.

According to investigators, Whigham also admitted to entering the home on South 13th Street a day later, when the home was left unoccupied, and searched the residence for items to steal.

The Police Department said Whigham also admitted to entering the residence with intent to steal on Oct. 24, and that he encounter Potts in the living room. Investigators said Whigham admitted to shooting her, grabbing her purse and fleeing the home. According to the report, Whigham told police he got rid of the purse and the firearm.

Whigham was initially charged Thursday with possession of a firearm by convicted felon. He’s being held without bond pending arraignment Jan. 6.

Shawn Whigham mug shot from Fernandina Beach Police Department.