Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Murder of Ashley Brown

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27-year-old Ashley Brown seemingly vanished during a party on December 18th, 2016. Nine months prior, Ashley moved to Nashville, Tennessee and began to work as a surgical technician at a hospital. The night she was last seen, Ashley and a few friends decided to celebrate both Christmas and Ashley’s upcoming 28th birthday at a bar called Santa’s in downtown Nashville. Afterwards, Ashley and her friends took an Uber to an apartment near Vanderbilt University for an afterparty. At some point while at the apartment, Ashley vanished and was never seen alive by her friends and family again. 

Ashley always kept in touch with her family members, so her sister Heather grew quite worried after she did not hear from Ashley for over a day. Heather called their stepmother to let her know that she had not heard from Ashley, and the stepmother called a friend of Ashley’s who was at the party with her that night.

Said friend was helping with the post-party clean-up when it was discovered that Ashley’s purse, wallet, and keys were still at the apartment. Ashley’s family members were deeply concerned by this and reported her missing to the Nashville Police Department later that day. When Ashley still did not show up for work the following morning, her family was sure that something had gone wrong.

Unfortunately, the family’s instincts were correct. Just four days later, Ashley’s body was found at a trash facility five miles away from the apartment where she was last seen. An autopsy was performed, which was initially inconclusive. However, a second autopsy revealed that Ashley had been brutally murdered: her cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Ashley’s family members suspect that somebody who was at the party knows exactly what happened to Ashley. Unfortunately, Ashley’s family has been unable to speak to any of the partygoers that night. According to Ashley’s brother Trevor, they planned to meet with the resident of the apartment, but she backed out at the last minute, claiming that she was not comfortable meeting without the police present. Police, on the other hand, have interviewed the partygoers from that night but have not made any arrests or announced any suspects in the case.

Just two months later, 22-year-old Tiffany Ferguson was found dead in her apartment located three miles away from where Ashley was found. Tiffany was a nurse and worked at the same hospital as Ashley. Due to this, police thought that it was possible the two cases were connected. 

Police eventually arrested a 24-year-old drifter named Christopher McLawhorn for Tiffany’s murder, after he was caught on surveillance camera exiting Tiffany’s apartment after the murder occurred. Many believed there was a serial offender at hand, however an extensive investigation determined that Ashley and Tiffany’s cases were not connected.

Ashley’s murder remains unsolved today. There may be a cash reward for anyone who provides information leading to Ashley’s killer. If you have any information that could help the case, please contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at (615) 742-7463.

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