What we know and what we don't know about the Green Bay dismemberment of Shad Thyrion, 'a kind and compassionate person'

Police tape a house in the 800 block of Stony Brook Lane after a 24-year-old man was found dead in the early morning on Feb. 23 in Green Bay. He was later identified as Shad Thyrion.
Police tape a house in the 800 block of Stony Brook Lane after a 24-year-old man was found dead in the early morning on Feb. 23 in Green Bay. He was later identified as Shad Thyrion.

Note: The Green Bay Press-Gazette has chosen not to publish many of the graphic details of this crime. However, readers may find material in this report disturbing.

GREEN BAY – In a case that has attracted international attention, prosecutors have accused a 24-year-old woman of strangling a Green Bay man in a home on the city's west side, then dismembering him.

The bizarre and grisly details of Shad Thyrion's death are contained in a criminal complaint filed against Taylor Schabusiness, who faces several charges including homicide.

Based on police accounts, the following is what we know about the case, and what we have yet to learn:

Who was Shad Thyrion?

Thyrion, 24, had been a Howard-Suamico School District and Bay Port High School student from 2010 to 2015, according to district officials. He is not listed as a graduate of Bay Port.

His obituary, published Friday on the Green Bay Press-Gazette website, listed his parents as Tara Pakanich and Michael Thyrion and said he had worked with his father and grandfather at their family businesses.

"Shad enjoyed camping, games, and spending time with his family," the obituary says. "He was a very kind and compassionate person who often thought of others before himself. A talented artist, he also enjoyed wood carving."

His Facebook page shows Thyrion also was interested in music, with many of his posts linking to music videos. His profile says he was from Ashwaubenon.

A cousin of Thyrion's mother started an online fundraiser to help the family "with housing arrangements, transportation and funeral expenses for sweet Shad." As of Friday afternoon, the GoFundMe plea had raised $7,700 toward its $20,000 goal.

Who is Taylor Schabusiness?

Like Thyrion, Schabusiness attended Howard-Suamico schools but is not listed as having graduated from Bay Port. She is 24.

She has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and third-degree sexual assault in Thyrion's death and faces life in prison if convicted. Schabusiness was ordered held in the Brown County Jail on $2 million cash bail.

She has a previous criminal record, including a recent conviction for fleeing, eluding and obstructing a police officer. She had been sentenced to three months in jail on Jan. 4 with work-release privileges, according to online court records.

It's unclear whether she was out of jail on work release at the time of Thyrion's death Feb. 23.

Her listed address in the newest court filing is 1130 Moraine Way, Green Bay. A previous civil court case listed her with an address on Eastman Avenue, which is where police say they arrested her soon after discovering Thyrion's decapitated head in his mother's home.

In the civil case, she was ordered to pay the city of Green Bay and its insurer over $4,100 on the same day she was arrested.

More: Shad Thyrion identified as the Green Bay decapitation victim; his family seeks donations for his funeral

RELATED: Green Bay woman accused of strangling, decapitating man told police she was on meth. How does that drug make people so violent?

How did Schabusiness and Thyrion know each other?

The pair had been friends and were involved in a sexual relationship, according to Schabusiness' statement to investigators.

What transpired before Thyrion was dismembered?

Some of the exact timing of what happened leading up to the discovery of Thyrion's remains is unclear in the criminal complaint. According to the criminal complaint:

Schabusiness picked up Thyrion about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 21, the victim's mother told police. Schabusiness said she, an unidentified friend and Thyrion got some drugs and went to the Eastman Avenue apartment, the complaint says, where all three smoked marijuana. Schabusiness and Thyrion smoked methamphetamine, she said. Her roommate left, and Schabusiness injected Thyrion and herself with trazodone, an antidepressant.

At some point, Schabusiness and Thyrion returned to his mother's home and went into the basement. The two were there for all or much of Feb. 22, Thyrion's mother said, but she was out of the house during the day on Feb. 22, the criminal complaint says.

Taylor Schabusiness
Taylor Schabusiness

About five minutes after they went into the basement together, Thyrion got out two metal silver chains, one that he had around his neck and one he gave her, Schabusiness told police. She described the chains as "like a dog's choke collar." She said strangulation had been part of their sex acts in the past, the complaint says. He laid face down on the bed and Schabusiness said she went "crazy" and began to choke him with the chain and she did not stop even though he was coughing up blood and his face turned purple.

She told Green Bay Police Det. David Graf, "Ya, I liked it," which he believed meant the strangulation, according to the criminal complaint.

Schabusiness said she continued choking him until he stopped breathing, the complaint says.

What happened next?

Schabusiness told police she first "played with the victim's body for like two or three hours," which led to the sexual assault charge. Then she used knives from the kitchen to decapitate and dismember Thyrion, planning to take all the body parts with her, "but she got lazy" and didn't. Some body parts were discovered in the van and some in the basement, placed in plastic shopping bags, a cardboard box, a plastic bucket and a plastic storage container, the complaint says.

How was the killing discovered?

Thyrion's mother said she was awakened by a storm door slamming between 2:30 and 3 a.m. Feb. 23 and she heard a vehicle. She got up, saw a light in the basement and went down there where she discovered a bucket with her son's head in it, the complaint says.

Where was Schabusiness at this point?

She had left the house at some point. The criminal complaint is not specific as to when that happened.

Schabusiness was picked up that morning — no time is listed — at a home on Eastman Avenue, on the east side.

A police detective said in the criminal complaint that Schabusiness now lives with a roommate on Eastman Avenue. Her home address is listed as Moraine Way, in a neighborhood of condominiums on the city's west side.

Did Schabusiness explain why Thyrion was killed?

Yes and no. Asked by Graf what happened, she said that "is a good question" because she claimed to have had blacked out while choking Thyrion. She said she regained consciousness before he was dead and before dismembering him, however, according to the complaint.

Then she admitted she and Thyrion were smoking a substance referred to by an obscene slang name, "the bitch," but which Graf confirmed was methamphetamine.

She also made statements, according to the complaint, that indicated she had not planned to kill Thyrion before she started choking him.

"Schabusiness made the comment that she was 'already this far' so she just kept on, referring to choking the victim," the complaint says, quoting Graf's report.

"Schabusiness stated she enjoyed choking him and made comments to detectives asking if they knew what it was like to love something so much that you kill it," the complaint says.

What happens next?

Schabusiness is due back in court at 2 p.m. March 22 for the rest of her initial appearance. She is being held in the Brown County Jail on $2 million bail.

What we don't know yet

  • Exactly how long Thyrion was dead before his remains were discovered.

  • Why Schabusiness was free the day she was with Thyrion, despite her jail sentence on the obstruction charge. When officers approached her Feb. 23 and asked if she knew why they were there, "she stated something that sounded like, 'Because of my warrant for my arrest,'" according to the criminal complaint.

  • What motive Schabusiness might have had for killing Thyrion, or for dismembering his body, and what role drugs played in the crimes she's accused of committing.

  • Whether the details Schabusiness shared with investigators about Thyrion's death and the activities leading up to it are accurate. However, one of the detectives is quoted in the complaint as saying that her statements were "consistent with officers’ findings during the search of the basement."

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: What we know about the Green Bay decapitation, Taylor Schabusiness