Overview of Brittany Stykes
Why would someone execute this young, pregnant mother and shoot her 14 month old daughter?
Brittany (Dodson) Stykes seemed to be the all-American girl. The second of five children to Mary and David Dodson, Brittany loved country living and her family. She grew up on a farm in the small community of Ripley, OH. Ripley is about 30 minutes east of Cincinnati, OH, nestled along the Ohio River.
Brittany loved spending time with her family and working with animals on the farm. Her father fondly remembers Brittany showing goats and chickens at the county fair and that she loved to ride horses. She also loved to work on cars with her dad. The two, along with the rest of the family, frequently attended car shows and drag races together. She had hopes of building her own custom motorcycle one day.
When she was 20, Brittany met her future husband, Shane Stykes who was 38 at the time. The two met at a Subway that she worked at and he, trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, frequently visited. The pair soon found themselves pregnant and married about a year later.
The Day Of Her Murder
August 28, 2013 was a day filled with excitement for Brittany. She started the day by wishing her beloved father a happy birthday, telling him she would be over that evening to see him. But first, she and Aubree headed to her mother-in-law's home a few towns over so that she could participate in an online interview. The pair then had dinner before they packed up and headed back to Ripley, OH to see her father.
Brittany is caught on surveillance cameras a few times during her drive. Once by the Georgetown Police Department and another time passing a McDonald's. You can review this footage on the Brown County Sheriff's website. The videos do not seem to show anything unusual.
Around 7:15 PM, Brittany texts her family to let them know she is close.
That is the last time they would hear from Brittany.
A passerby on Brittany's route notices headlights shining out from a wooded area. Concerned, he makes a U-Turn on Highway 68 to see if the driver needs help. What he finds is startling. Brittany is unresponsive and slumped over the steering wheel. Aubree is in the front seat crying for her mom, with a bullet wound to the head.
Brittany was only a few miles from her parent's home when she was murdered. She was so close that her family could hear the cacophony of sirens as they rushed to the crime scene. Worried that it could be his daughter, David Dotson rushes to the sirens, where his worst fears are confirmed.
Brittany was shot three times and was pronounced dead at the scene. Aubree was shot in the head but still alive.
Where The Case Stands Today.
Brittany's husband Shane was looked at immediately. His alibi, which has been substantiated, was that he was at work all day and then at a gym in Decatur, OH when she was shot. Gunshot residue tests were negative and he has passed a polygraph several times. Law Enforcement says he is not a suspect.
In September 2015, law enforcement raided a house in Falmouth, KY after receiving a tip. A man's ex-girlfriend came forward to say that he had confessed to her about Brittany's murder (and others) and said it was retaliation for a debt owed by Shane Stykes. She also claimed that he told her he took a "trophy photo" of Brittany after he had murdered her.
Brown County officials also convened a grand jury to interview 3 uncooperative witnesses, one of which is an ex-girlfriend of Shane Stykes. They have not spoken publicly about the findings.
There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Brittany's murderer. If you know anything about this case, please contact the Brown County Sheriff at (937) 378-4435 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 352-3040 or text CINTIP plus your tip to 274637.