So Zona eloped, wearing the same high-collared burgundy-colored dress that her husband would dress her in after her death.
On the morning of her death in 1897, according to The Monroe Watchman, Shue left his blacksmith shop and went to a nearby house, asking the son to see if Mrs. Shue wanted to send to the store for anything. The boy found her lying on the floor, dead.
Later, the Greenbrier Independent would report from Trout Shue’s trial for murder that after Dr. Knapp was unable to resuscitate Zona, Shue requested the doctor “to make no further examination of the body; that he assisted in dressing the body and in doing so put around the neck a high collar and a large veil several times folded and tied in a large bow under the chin; that the head was observed by a number of the witnesses to be very loose upon the neck and would drop from side to side when not supported.”
Still, Zona was buried with no charges made against Shue.
And then Zona’s mother said her daughter had appeared to her and told her what really happened. Mary Heaster told her account to the county prosecuting attorney. He didn’t dismiss her, but asked for names of people who might have information. When the prosecutor spoke to Dr. Knapp and learned how the husband had prevented a full examination of the body, he pursued having Zona’s body exhumed and an autopsy performed. Her neck was found broken and her windpipe crushed – evidence of murder by strangulation.
At Trout Shue’s trial, Mary Heaster testified, “It was no dream,” according to The Greenbrier Independent. “She came back and told me that he was mad that she didn’t have no meat cooked for supper … but the second night she told me that her neck was squeezed off at the first joint and it was just as she told me.”