HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A popular 26-year-old Houston Instagram influencer whose body was found on the side of a road over the weekend is being described as a smart woman who had a bright future.
During an interview with Alexis Sharkey's mother on Monday, Eyewitness News learned more about the young self-starter, whose goal was always "to see the world."
"She traveled as much as she could," said Sharkey's mom, Stacey Robinault, who spoke with ABC13's Steve Campion via Zoom from her home in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Robinault said Sharkey grew up in a small town, close to Lake Erie. She wasn't a big fan of the cold winters, her mom said.
"She loves the south," said Robinault. "She always wanted to live in the warmth, since she grew up right by the Great Lake where it's yucky and cold a lot."
Sharkey studied biology in college and graduated summa cum laude, Robinault recalled. According to friends, she was a mentor with a hair and skincare company called Monat.
The company promotes naturally based, cruelty-free and vegan products.
"My daughter is one that absolutely was so careful about anything she put on her body," said Robinault.
Sharkey's Instagram account has more than 26,000 followers. Robinault, a school teacher, said Sharkey never boasted about her influence and maintained true to herself.
"For her integrity, it was just so obvious that what she had out there was who she was and what she believed in," said Robinault. "So many of my students follow her."
Over the weekend, Robinault told ABC13 that her daughter went missing on Friday. She said she had not spoken with Sharkey since just before Thanksgiving.
In a Facebook post published by Robinault, she wrote, "It's with deeply broken hearts that [Alexis' father] Mike and I want to let you all know that Lexi's body has been found. We cannot begin to thank you all for your love and the kind words you've extended to our family!"
Sharkey's cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
The case remains under investigation.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help raise money for funeral costs and to cover travel fees for her family.
If you have any information about Sharkey's death, you're asked to call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.