Prisoner turned reality star Shane Whitlow gave Love After Lockup fans, as well as estranged wife Lacey Whitlow, a major scare when he went missing for several days in December 2021. Lacey let fans know four days later that he had been found safe, but that the pair were no longer together. Here’s everything you need to know about Shane.
When Shane first appeared on the show, he had been incarcerated for nearly four years after being sent to prison at the age of 18 on a malicious wounding charge. Lacey came across Shane’s buff and handsome photo on a “Meet An Inmate” website, despite being engaged to her high school sweetheart, John Slater, who was also behind bars at the time.
Shane’s profile on the portal sure looked promising, in addition to his photo. He wrote, “I am 21 years old and very passionate about physical fitness. Things I do in my spare time: ride dirt bikes, four-wheeling, sports, music and traveling. I’m always open to try new things.”
He also revealed he that had plans for his future, noting, “When I’m released, I plan to get my degree in nutrition and certification in physical fitness.” That never happened for Shane, though he did spend plenty of time in the gym maintaining his hunky physique and started an athletic wear brand.
Shane added, “I love to laugh, being around others smiling and having fun brings joy to my heart. Life is too short not to live life to its fullest. I’m looking for someone who wants to have fun and share some laughs together.” He thought he found that in Lacey, a cam model who was nearly 10 years his senior.
As fans saw during season 2 of Love After Lockup, Lacey and then 22-year-old Shane fell hard for each other after corresponding for only a few months. He was released from a Western Virginia prison to Lacey’s open arms.
Shane paroled to her Virginia Beach, Virginia, home, where the two spent time getting to know each other better. Since he was freed before John, Lacey decided to give their relationship a go behind John’s back, even though the pair were engaged. She later visited John in jail and let him know their engagement was off and that she had fallen for someone else.
Shane eventually got a job, popped the question and Lacey said “yes,” even though she still had lingering feelings for John. Shane and Lacey had a beautiful beach wedding in July 2019 that was featured on Love After Lockup, but their romance was rocked when Shane admitted to cheating on her before their nuptials. Lacey ended up breaking things off with Shane and going back to her ex, but after a blowout fight landed John back in jail, she was able to reconcile her marriage to Shane.
Upon their marriage, Shane became the stepfather to Lacey’s three children from a prior relationship. The model had her tubes tied after the birth of her third child but wanted to give Shane a son or daughter of his own. The couple underwent IVF treatments, and Lacey became pregnant with a baby girl. Their daughter Summer Rayne’s November 2020, birth was featured on the season 3 finale of Life After Lockup in March 2021.
While Shane was shown being a hands-on dad to his new daughter and his stepchildren in season 4, he revealed that he lost his job during the COVID-19 lockdown and was unemployed, staying at home and being a full-time dad. Lacey began to wonder if he was cheating on her again when his interest in their love life had waned from their lustful earlier days as a couple. The pair drifted further apart as season 4 of Life After Lockup progressed.
Shane spent Thanksgiving 2021 with his older sister, listening to country music on a dock next to an inlet of water in an Instagram video he posted. On December 7, Shane shared an Instagram post that read, “Your beautiful Summer. Daddy’s in the light now,” which worried some viewers. He continued, “Good vibes only from me always. Y’all stay safe out there … thanks everybody for supporting me threw (sic) my tough times and watching me grow threw out my tough time periods. If I done anything right, I hope I impacted y’all to always have courage. The world ain’t so bad … time to flip the switch to positivity only,” he continued, adding, “Truly love y’all guys.”
Lacey made a December 15 online plea for help in finding Shane, saying he had disappeared near Trumball, Connecticut, three days prior. When he was found the following day, Lacey made it clear that the ordeal wasn’t a stunt for the show and claimed that he was “transported to St. Vincent’s hospital under mentally incapacitated (sic).”
“Thank you [to] everyone[, for] helping [and for your] concerns,” Lacey shared via Instagram on December 16, following her public plea. “This year has been hard on everyone, and mental health is such a fragile thing. No matter what, this is my [daughter’s] dad. [This] isn’t for the show or a [storyline,] this is HIS LIFE.”
In a post on December 17, Lacey revealed the couple had split, and both have erased all photos of each other from their respective Instagram accounts. “Praying that no matter what dark tunnel you may be in you see the light which is this beautiful baby girl Summer Rayne,” she wrote. “Know I’ll always be here even though we aren’t together anymore, and you are still the father of our child and no matter that the public may think or people say,” Lacey continued, adding, “I know you’re still in there somewhere. I just PRAY you stay SAFE and don’t be too stubborn to reach out to us, your real family.”
Before his disappearance, Shane promoted a new athletic wear brand he was developing. On the company’s website, he wrote in the mission statement that, “Diamond Cut Body was born with my passion for working out. I want everyone wearing Diamond Cut Body to know they have what it takes to make it. Wearing my brand will motivate you to know I am part of your journey and together we will succeed. This is a lifestyle and I look forward to helping you feel and look great living it.”