SALEM - A Salem woman known for her creativity as a cake decorator was being mourned Wednesday by her family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
Samantha Shasteen, 32, of 2107 Oak St., never showed up for work at Clarencedale Cake as scheduled at 6 a.m. after spending all day Tuesday on the job as kitchen manager and head decorator.
She was found dead in her bathroom Wednesday morning and her estranged boyfriend, Mason Feisel, 34, of Boardman, was later charged with murder for allegedly purposely causing her death.
"We just couldn't believe what we were hearing," Clarencedale Cake owner Ellen Harvischak said.
Harvischak and her husband, Devin Bennett, started the Boardman business where Shasteen had worked the past three years. She said they and the employees in the shop all work closely together and share their lives and they're all devastated by the loss.
When she didn't arrive for work and had not texted them, they started calling around, calling both the Boardman Police and Salem Police and then learned of her death.
She said Sam was funny, joking and laughing all the time, but she was serious about her work. She was described as extremely hardworking and conscientious and took pride in her work and took pride in her 4-year-old daughter.
"She did an amazing job," Harvischak said.
The business will be closed to the public this week as they try to cope with her death and meet the orders they already have.
"She loved being a cake decorator," she said.
The Facebook page for the business was filled with comments about how much she would be missed and offering condolences to the family, both at work and at home.
The investigation into her death brought sirens to her quiet neighborhood early Wednesday. One neighbor who went to school with Shasteen at Salem didn't want to be identified, but said "she was awesome. A real nice girl."
Another neighbor, John Catlos, was in his living room in the back of his house when he looked outside and saw four police officers and two ambulance crew members in his back yard, where they handcuffed a man and put him in an ambulance. The man was later identified as Feisel.
"You just never know," Catlos said.
He said they were kind of quiet, always out back playing with the little girl and taking her to the park. Shasteen's daughter had spent the night with her grandparents and had not been home.
"The family's devastated right now," Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott said, adding "They ask that people respect their privacy."