10 to Watch in 2019: Travis Shulenberger

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 30, 2018

Earlier this year, Salisbury Police Department Sgt. Travis Shulenberger revealed that he had been giving a much-talked-about, decades-old murder a second look. The detective was able to submit evidence to a local crime lab in the 1984 Reesa Dawn Trexler murder, which renewed interest in the case.

It led Jodie Trexler Laird, the sister of Reesa, to seek outside help from “The Dr. Phil Show” to help “exonerate” herself. The victim’s younger sister had always been suspected in the murder.

Shulenberger has been working on the unsolved case and reviewing others.

Shulenberger, a Salisbury native, has been with the Police Department since 2004, when he began as a patrol officer. He transferred to the detectives division in 2007 and was promoted in 2014. Shulenberger was a sergeant on patrol for seven months and then returned to the detectives division as a sergeant over the Criminal Investigations Division.

Most recently, the CID was divided into property crimes and violent crimes units. Shulenberger is over the detectives who specialize in violent crimes.

He worked for his father’s surveying company throughout high school and college. Shulenberger decided about halfway through college to major in criminal justice. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in criminal justice.

He was a collegiate water skier and a national tournament water ski and wakeboard champion.

In 2011, he was named Veteran Officer of the Year.

His biggest hope for 2019 is to see a decline in violent crime and to turn over a new leaf.

“Better days are ahead,” he said.

— Shavonne Walker