law enforcement

Torso Found by Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont Belongs to Woman Who Went Missing: Police

Police say the woman's husband, who killed himself by jumping off the Bay Bridge, is a suspect.

The human remains found on Feb. 21 near the Dumbarton Pier in Fremont belongs to a 57-year-old Brisbane woman whose husband committed suicide after she disappeared, Brisbane police said Wednesday.

Hikers located additional remains along the Dumbarton Bridge shoreline on Feb. 28 which helped the Alameda County Coroner's Office positively identify the remains as belonging to Shelly Titchener, police said.

The identification was made by a right thumbprint match to DMV records, the coroner's office said.

There are still remains to be discovered and recovered, according to Brisbane police. Officials are not commenting on what parts of the remains are outstanding. The active search for evidence or remains along the Fremont Shoreline has been called off.

Fishermen found the torso in the wetlands by the Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont. Even though the body was found in Fremont's jurisdiction, Brisbane Police department is acting as the lead agency in investigating the connection between the torso — found in a bag with the head and limbs cut off  — and the Bay Bridge suicide of Paul Titchener, Shelly Titchener's husband. 

The Brisbane Police Department has enough information and evidence at this point to establish that Paul Titchener is a suspect in this case. "We are not commenting on what information has led us to this determination," officials said. "We are continuing to investigate whether or not Paul acted alone."

Brisbane police are investigating computers and mobile devices taken from Shelly and Paul Titchener's home and Paul Titchener's business after serving search warrants on Feb. 24.

Several items have been submitted to the San Mateo Crime lab for analysis, but police don't have a timeline of when the analysis will be completed.

"Our main objective here is to develop a timeline of events leading up to the incident," Brisbane police Sgt. Michele Borg said.

Brisbane police are also working on obtaining credit card and banking record record information for both the Titcheners and any license plate reader information that is available from the surrounding area. 

Shelly and Paul filed divorce papers in San Mateo County Superior Court 15 years ago.

According to Paul Titchener's LinkedIn profile, he was president of, a Brisbane company that developed media technology. His profile also states he earned a PhD in electrical and electronics engineering from Stanford University in 1983, who held multiple patents.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said his office has never prosecuted a case against Paul Titchener. And a records check with the Brisbane police department showed officers had never been to the Titchener's homes on a domestic violence call.

The "Find Shelly Titchener" Facebook page states that on Feb. 13, Shelly Titchener was at home when she told her husband she would be staying with a friend for "couple of days," and "it is possible she was in a mentally incapacitated state,"

Brisbane police on Wednesday said that video surveillance footage has not substantiated reports that Shelly Titchener was spotted at Nordstrom's on Feb. 15. Police are trying to verify a neighbor's statement that they saw Titchener on the same day.

Titchener was reported missing on Feb. 15 when she never returned from the trip to her friend's, and she left her cell phone and lap top at home, according to the "Find Shelly Titchener" Facebook page.

On Feb. 20, a post from Paul Titcecher's Facebook page, which identifies the author as her husband, asks for help in finding his wife.

Neighbors said the couple was very private and were shocked to hear of the latest developments in the case. Neighbors also reported Paul Titchener recently knocked on doors to ask if anyone had seen his wife.

"He came to the door with his son looking for if I had seen anything," said Dave Burke, who lives across the street from the Titchener family.

Still, other neighbors who did not want to be identified said the Titcheners did not have a great relationship and that Shelly Titchener often seemed troubled. 

A sign reads "You deserved better Shelly" outside Shelly Titchener's Brisbane home. Feb. 25, 2016

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez, Kris Sanchez, Riya Bhattacharjee, Kristofer Noceda, Ian Cull and Cheryl Hurd contributed to this report.

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