Louisa Man Charged in Pregnant Teen’s Murder

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

July 18, 2006

After five years of searching for the person who killed a pregnant Fluvanna County teenager, and her unborn baby, sheriffs in Louisa County announce they’ve made an arrest. The victim's family couldn't be happier and said the arrest was a long time coming. In fact, the family said it's the person they suspected all along.

“I'm so happy it’s over with so she can rest and my grandson can rest,” said Shantay Wheeler’s mother, Mammie Wheeler.

Mammie couldn't bear for cameras to show her face, but said she’s happy sheriffs have made an arrest in her daughter's murder.

Shantay's then boyfriend, 27-year-old Irving Fountain of Troy, VA is being held without bond.

On April 19, 2001 Shantay's boyfriend dropped her off here at the Fork Union Motor Lodge to see her sister. She said goodbye and walked toward a nearby pharmacy. That was the last time anyone saw Shantay alive.

“I have dreams about it, think about it, thinking she'll be knocking on the door, and I just wish she was here,” said Mammie Wheeler.

The remains of the 8 1/2 month pregnant woman and her baby were found five months later in a wooded area in Louisa County. At the time, sheriffs questioned Shantay's boyfriend.

“Did you always think he did it,” asked reporter Lisa Ferrari.

“Yes, I did,” Wheeler responded.

With no evidence, they continued to search for Shantay's killer. Five years later there was a break in the case. Fountain was brought in on Thursday on an unrelated charge.

“During the course of processing him and talking to him about [the recent] incident, we were able to gather more information concerning this case,” said Louisa County Sheriff’s Department Major Don Lowe.

Sheriffs won't say how Shantay died or what the motive may have been.

“Why? That's what everybody in my family wants to know why. And I do too. Why he did this,” said Wheeler.

Louisa prosecutors say they haven’t decided if they will seek the death penalty in this case.

“I think he should be [put on] death row. And I think he should suffer like she did," said Wheeler.

Fountain is being charged with the first degree murder of Shantay wheeler and the use of a fire arm during the commission of a homicide. Louisa prosecutors said they are not sure whether they will charge Fountain with the baby's death as well.

Shantay would have turned 24 last Friday, the day after her alleged killer was arrested.

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