Finding Asha Degree, Shelby's Sweetheart

Home » Part Two ~ Debunking the Runaway Myth: Asha & Her Family’s Profile » What the Bookbag Contents Tell Us: Their Important Significance in the Case

What the Bookbag Contents Tell Us: Their Important Significance in the Case

Among the items reported as missing from Asha’s home were her black and beige bookbag. It’s believed that Asha packed the items I’ve listed below. As I mentioned, I do not have the benefit of any other items/information that police may be holding back to protect the strength of their case, so there could be other articles of clothing or personal effects not included, here.


• Favorite Jeans with Red Side Stripe
• Long-Sleeved White Nylon Shirt
• Red Vest with Black Trim
• Black Overalls with Tweety Bird
• Black & White Long-Sleeved Shirt
• Basketball Uniform

Other Items Included:

• Lime Green Tweety Bird Purse
• Black Shoes
• Asha’s Wallet
• 3 Family Photos
• House Key

Asha reportedly packed two outfits as well as her basketball uniform. Among the other items, I believe the three family photos reported missing help confirm my suspicions that a trusting adult was involved in Asha’s disappearance, directing what goes inside the bag.

There seems to be a pattern here, with ‘three things’ and I believe said suspect’s reasoning was that one–or even two–photos may go unnoticed but three would most likely be missed. This phenomenon, is known as ‘change blindness‘ where objects missing from an arrangement or collection can go unnoticed; the more objects missing, the less likely we are to overlook the difference. Also, three outfits are packed.

I’ll talk about another instance fitting this practice, on the next page.

But for now, let’s take a look at the clothing:

Asha’s basketball uniform is quite telling. Its inclusion in the bookbag supports my theory that the team’s loss was not the catalyst for Asha leaving home. One wouldn’t pack the source of their pain, (fouling out and the team’s loss) and its humiliation, rather, one shouldn’t be surprised if the uniform was in shreds in the garbage bin if, indeed losing the game prompted Asha’s leaving home.

It’s reported that Asha packed her favorite jeans along with a red vest and black shoes. I believe the red vest further supports the idea that the offender knew Asha and her wardrobe. It being Valentine’s Day, the red color would have been appropriate for a celebration. It’s reported Asha’s school wasn’t exchanging cards or doing any celebrating for the holiday, so the outfit wasn’t part of any school function.

I’m assuming the black shoes weren’t of the athletic ilk and may possibly be dressier footwear. It makes sense that this complete outfit above–paired with the black shoes–suggests the clothing was most likely part of a scheme that included a ‘surprise’ celebration. Perhaps an anniversary party.

All considering, my theory is very plausible–one where keeping such a secret makes sense–and wouldn’t violate Asha’s ‘world’ where family is of utmost importance and rules are followed. I believe the ‘three-item’ factor, where the family photos went missing along with three outfits is by the perpetrator’s design and suggest planning and adult thinking.

I’ll talk more about the totality of this ideal later and why I believe in the contents of the bookbag is a product of an adult’s thinking versus that of a nine-year-old’s.

I have chosen to hold back what I believe to be one of the perpetrator’s ‘mistakes,’ as it’s rather incriminating. I’m not a member of law enforcement and it would be irresponsible of me to reveal it here, on this very-public blog. Too, it’s highly doubtful investigators would be interested in what I think.

To read more about change blindness, here’s a great article:


Page Poser: What do you think about the actual items in the bookbag?  Do you agree Asha’s bookbag and its contents were followed as part of an adult’s direction? Do you feel only a person who knows Asha is responsible for the bookbag’s contents?  Have any thoughts about what might have happened to Asha changed since reading these first pages? Does anything really trouble you? 


  1. Diana says:

    What stands out to me is the house key. If she were indeed running away (which I’ve always doubted), why would she need her house key? Also, the amount of clothing she took as well is sticking out. She brought only a few outfits and these outfits were specific. In fact, I have to even wonder if Asha even packed a bag at all. I’ve had my own thoughts on this case and the whole contents on the bag seems to be something from an adult mind. Love the website and your theories!!


    • findingasha says:

      After all I’ve read, studied and learned, I’m convinced someone who knew Asha is responsible for her disappearance.
      I do not believe it’s anyone in her home. I have a strong suspicion of who may be responsible but I have to do a
      bit more digging before I’m near even 80%.

      Where Asha was seen last was very rural compared to anyplace I’ve lived and it can get mighty dark with hardly any visibility.
      This little girl did NOT walk on that highway on that rainy–stormy–rainy night; she couldn’t see where she was going.
      Look at the ariel Google image. There’s no way she could have made that distance in such a short time after her father
      reported seeing Asha in bed–there’s no way. This was a well-orchestrated act by someone who knew her routine. Routines
      are how squeaky-clean people who live a low risk lifestyle get into trouble.

      Thanks for your comment. I do believe with enough of us come together, here we can find her abductor. Yes, I said abductor.
      this child wouldn’t have set foot on any road by herself at night. nope. Didn’t happen.

      Liked by 2 people

    • findingasha says:

      I’m on the same page as you about the book bag. I think she was instructed what to pack and when.
      Certainly, an adult wouldn’t have her packing the bag in one fell swoop, lest her parents notice
      that much clothing missing. Since the Degrees only had two children and one girl, they wouldn’t
      have a ton of girls’ clothes lying around. Only an adult would be privy to such calculated deception.

      The story this person gave Asha had to sound credible, honest and logical to a NINE-year-old child and crafty
      enough that unsuspecting parents wouldn’t notice.


      • findingasha says:

        Very true, Diana. Asha’s home is very small with bedrooms, bathroom and living area in very close proximity. I think the clothing choices should be revisited. There have been too many detectives working this case over the years; it needs a new set of eyes from start to finish.


      • Kim says:

        Hello, I know I’m a little late to hearing about this story but I just felt I should also try to share a possible reason as to why she may have left. Maybe it was the whole Anniversary/Party scernario, and someone she trusted (whether from church, school, family friend, etc.) found a way to lure her out in the middle of the night. I’ve been reading ALOT of theories on this case, none of which fully make sense. But, they are theories, so of course that’s the case. But, I figured after reading your blog and seeing what was packed in her bag, that maybe someone she trusted, told her that they could’ve to make or do something really special for her parents. They told her to keep it a secret, so that it’s be a big surprise, and like others and yourself have said, her being a people pleaser and not wanting to ruin a great surprise, she didn’t spill the beans to anyone. They could’ve told her that they could meet early in the morning before her parents would be up to wake her up for school, and maybe bring her back before she had to leave for school, that they’d bring her to school once they finished this surprise. They could’ve told her to pick out a few of her favorite outfits (or instructed her about what to choose like you mentioned above) so that she could look really nice when she surprised them, and that’s why she picked out some dressy outfits that matched or would look nice together, and some dress shoes. As well as why she brought a matching tweety purse that would match her tweety overalls, that were found in her bag. I think someone definitely picked her up outside of her house or around that area and maybe they said or did something and she ran out the car and that’s why she was (possibly) spotted on the highway so late into the night, and a bit of a ways from her home. But I don’t feel she was running away because she brought a house key and her basketball uniform, which to me says that she was expecting to go to school that day. Otherwise, why bring her uniform if she thought she wasn’t going to come back, or she was going to be gone for a few days? I read that she had been packing her bag over the course of saveral days so she brought her uniform for a reason. Even though, She wouldn’t have immediately needed it, so I think she definitely thought she was gonna be back by later that day to go to practice. Also, what makes me think this can be a plausible theory, is that she brought 3 family photos. I’ve seen some comments that maybe she brought these to remember her family, but what if she brought them because someone told her to bring a few photos, or she thought to bring a few photos for whatever she was trying to plan with this person? Like to print the pictures on a card or some kind of decoration for her valentine’s day/ her parents anniversary. That could explain why she felt the need to bring multiple photos that she may have liked, instead of only one if she was only trying to remember her family while supposedly running away or trying to go “on a vacation” with someone.


      • Thank you, Kim, for your thoughtful comment. It’s a frustrating and difficult scenario no matter how we go about it, but I feel there’s not a whole lot of ‘persons of interest’ and the case needs going over and those interviewed should be re-interviewed. If we stand outside our homes at night and envision walking over a mile in utter darkness, it is easy to see a child couldn’t have made that trek. VERY frustrating, indeed.


    • findingasha says:

      Hi Diana,
      I sent you an mail way back when and I realized I should be availing all this information to anyone who cares about Asha’s case.

      About that house key: I’m betting the key was always in Asha’s bookbag. Her and her brother weren’t necessarily ‘latch key children,’ per se. Their father worked the later shifts, so he may have been home but asleep or just about that way. I know my son had a key in his bookbag ‘just in case’ and I bet both kids had a key.

      Thanks for your compliment, Diana but feel free to publicly disagree. We need to all work our minds, ya know?

      The contents of the bookbag were not Asha’s doing, and law enforcement should study the psychology in those items; they are very telling and completely support my and others’ here, theory that Asha was abducted by someone close to her.


  2. Heidi says:

    That’s an interesting observation, and one I completely missed…that some of her belongings were packed in threes, and that the evidence was also left in threes. Even with the bookbag, it was really three pieces of evidence…the bookbag itself, her name, and her phone number(assuming it was otherwise empty, which nobody seems to be able to confirm).

    I didn’t know about the family pictures missing from her home, though – this is the first place I’ve read about that. I’d always thought she was most likely trying to go visit someone her parents didn’t approve of(and maybe had done so before, so she knew what “signs” to watch for concerning her brother being asleep, the “coast being clear,” etc.)…but, if she took those pictures, she was clearly planning on being gone at least long enough to think she might start missing her parents.

    If someone else did direct what went into her bookbag(which I’m not sure of, since not everything she packed was in groups of three even though all the evidence was), I can’t imagine what sort of crazy story he(or she or they) came up with to get her to go along with his plans for the night without so much as mentioning it to her parents before leaving(planning a surprise party or similar seems like it’s not “strong” enough, given the circumstances). From what all the available articles have led me to believe, she had a good relationship with her parents, and would have known she could tell them anything…even at nine years of age, she surely would have also known that she still had the “upper hand” over any potential threat to her safety for as long – and only for as long – as she remained in her residence and told her parents something was amiss.

    So, if someone besides herself did manage to lure her outside despite this, and she really WAS willing to go even in that weather, I’m thinking it had to have been either a relative or someone VERY CLOSE to her parents(not even to her, but to her parents…like you said, it’d almost definitely have been an adult – someone with both authority and a long-standing knowledge of how to manipulate her).

    That all said, this is a case that has always looked to me like a crime of opportunity(that of an overnight employee at Turner’s Upholstery, or a truck driver making a delivery there or elsewhere, happening to see her on/near the premises in her highly visible outfit and deciding to do something horrible to her)…and I’ve also always wondered about the second witness who claims he “circled three times” to find her but still waited so long to call police…but, maybe, someone just threw candy wrappers out their vehicle’s window and planted items in the shed at the opportune moment to make it LOOK like a crime of opportunity. A “random” disappearance is harder to solve than one in which the pool of potential suspects is known, after all, so making it seem like everything happened in “unfamiliar territory” would be in the perpetrator’s best interests.

    It’s far-fetched, but maybe the perpetrator had it in for Debbie Turner and wanted to embarrass(or even frame) her, or maybe there’s a construction/industrial connection(items from Asha’s bookbag were found by the tractor in Turner’s shed instead of anywhere else on the property, and then the bookbag itself was dug up at a building site). Maybe the perpetrator’s trying to taunt LE by identifying himself by his profession or by some other vague “clue” he expects someone, somewhere, to grasp(someone without the power to find/stop him now, most likely).

    Or, maybe, he planted the evidence in the way he did not to frame Turner or whoever else, but because he knew he would be cleared during the investigation and became overconfident as a result. He clearly enjoys “showing off” all that evidence, whatever the case may be – despite demonstrating for the past fifteen years that he’s very good at making a person/body completely vanish – and he must be a huge egomaniac and sicko.


    • findingasha says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Heidi. My reasoning for saying the bookbag was adult thinking/planning is Asha was too much an obedient child whose ‘flaw’ was she couldn’t stand for someone not to like her. This ideal indicates she’s a people-pleaser and the person responsible for this knows her and took advantage of her. Too, kids Asha’s age do NOT think of leaving and longing for their parents; that’s a very scary prospect not one she would want for herself, (so pictures would be a ‘good idea’). For Asha, leaving her parents for a vacation with her own grandmother was stressful after two days. Most likely, the responsible party planned a ‘great event’ which Asha would be the ‘star’ and responsible for the event’s success. Conversely, failure would be squarely on HER shoulders and she most likely was made aware of this notion. None of Asha’s disappearance mirrors her personality. Hmmm


  3. Jojo says:

    Please forgive me if I repeat anything etc, I’m very new to this case.
    The big party/event theory makes a lot of sense. She would probably have felt really grown up and mature for being allowed ‘in’ on this great plan. And she wouldn’t want to let the person down by spoiling the surprise and letting slip to her family. But one thing occurred to me, however much planning and persuading and manipulating he/she did in the build up, they couldn’t 100% guanantee she wouldn’t tell someone, her brother or a friend for example and swear them to secrecy etc. If she had told her parents or they had found out that ‘uncle so and so’ (for example) is planning a big party, then ‘uncle so and so’ would have needed a back up plan just incase. He wouldnt turn around and say ‘oh i wasnt really planning a party, I just wanted to abduct Asha’. So maybe he really did plan a party or something, maybe hire a venue just incase he needed to actually go through with that charade if she wasn’t able to keep the secret and told her parents the plan. Then he could have just cancelled the booking when his plan did come to fruition.
    Just an idea. Would be interesting to know if any close family/friends booked a table somewhere/party venue in the days leading up to Asha’s disappearance and then cancelled it afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • findingasha says:

      I agree with everything you’ve broached here, JoJo. I’ve had to study things I wouldn;t otherwise give a rat’s rear about and geography and demographics is not fun for me to ponder but Shelby, NC was/is mostly a working class, tight-knit population where renting a hall most likely wouldn’t happen but a church facility, park or gymnasium would.

      The false-promise would be more believable if one of the above was mentioned (considering an anniversary party theory). If he was found out, it would be easy to lie and say there was a big misunderstanding, or that maybe he was ‘thinking’ about it but couldn’t afford . . . blah, blah, blah.

      As I mentioned, these perpetrators are very good at manipulation and deceit; they live and breathe it.

      I think you have a good idea where venues should have been asked about, since there were two significant days wit it being an anniversary and Valentine’s Day. I don’t know what was looked into but for Asha to keep anything from her parents–and her brother, whom she was very close to– in a ‘Don’t tell anyone’ scenario, it had to be a described as a ‘good thing.’

      It’s all just my speculation but I can’t imagine that a prepubescent child with all her fears and the fact Asha was happy, responsible and obedient would keep a secret and pack a bag for overnight.


  4. Jojo says:

    And I agree an adult told her what to put in her bags. The photographs scream this to me.
    When I was Asha’s age I went on camp with my school for a week. It was my first time away from home (except for an occasional night I stated at my auntie’s house) and I got terribly homesick by the 4th day. I desperately missed my parents and the last few days of the trip felt like torture.
    Then the following year I went on the camping trip again for the same amount of time etc. And I knew I would probably get homesick again yet it NEVER occured to me to take a photograph (or 3) of my family with me. Would never have crossed my mind. Of course that doesn’t mean Asha wouldn’t have thought of it, but it seems unlikely to me.
    Taking photographs on a journey to remind yourself of loved ones seems like such an ‘adult’ thing to do. It implies a good understanding of what it is to. feel a strong sense of sentimentality and nostalgia. Having the forthought to realise you might miss someone and that looking at their picture will help you feel closer to them etc just doesn’t seem like something a 9 y old would do IMO. Seems very much like an adult dictating to a child to make it seem like she ran away.
    Ugh what a conniving piece of work he/she must be. That poor girl. I dread to think how and when she realised there was NO party or surprise planned and she’d been tricked in the most horrible way 😦


    • findingasha says:

      I really appreciate your anecdote on going off to camp and the photos. I didn’t go anywhere at that age, so I wouldn’t know what that felt like.

      I do believe the perpetrator planned then planned again; so it wouldn’t surprise me that he left no detail off his list. There’s no way (in my mind) this level of orchestration could be pulled off without a list.

      That’s MY opinion and not from any evidence I’ve uncovered.

      Yes, these ‘people’ are conniving and fit quite nicely among the general population. Did you know the term ‘con man’ is an earlier version of the term ‘confidence man?’ That’s how these creeps succeed: they take all the time in the world to get to know their target, build their trust and in this case, steal from all of us.

      The very vision of Asha’s ordeal is heart-wrenching and the hardest part of this blog. But we have to work at bringing her home and this is part of it.

      Your questions and comments are very much appreciated!



  5. Barbara Martin says:

    I just found your blog today….and have been reading and contemplating every scenario I think you are “referring” to. In my mind, I just can’t conceive any scenario she would not have included her brother in😕. I live approx 15 miles away from Shelby and have always followed this case. I have a niece with a degree in child psychology. I just called and asked her to read your blog. I hope everyone together can bring Asha’s story to the light.


    • findingasha says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and helping by calling your niece!
      I’d love her input especially about Asha’s fears being so profound as
      they are, and it’s influence on the runaway theory, and the Whipping Boy
      book covers and how they might influence her thought process–most notably
      Asha’s’ big adventure doesn’t mirror the story line.

      Also, if your niece disagrees, I’m game for being challenged, as the blog
      isn’t about me.

      I SoooOOOO appreciate any input. I’m looking forward to hearing from her if she has time.
      Thanks again,



  6. JP says:

    Makes me wonder if she packed the backpack or if the backpack was packed by someone hoping these items would be missed/found thus pointing to a runaway or a willing short term absence situation.


    • findingasha says:

      Hey JP,
      Thanks for your input about the backpack. I theorize that someone (outside Asha’s family)
      who had seen Asha’s wardrobe enough to know it; this way they could dictate what outfits
      she should pack for a short term absence. I don’t believe Asha planned to ever be gone with
      her profound fears and affection for her family. Yes, I also believe the perp(s) wanted to
      have enough items missing, and the Tweety Bird items and clothing are very different from, say,
      a plain white t-shirt that could be ANY child’s.



      • J W says:

        Reading this, it really just struck me what you meant you when you said this guy keeps “lists”. A meticulous person who weaseled his way into a tight-knit community, plotting something like this for a long time. Kept lists of her clothes, her schedule, her parents’ schedules (obtained via spying on them?). I wonder if any other children in the area have been missing in the years before and after Asha’s disappearance. Perhaps other children at her school or church, or in neighboring (rival?) towns.

        I know emotion alone doesn’t help this case along, but I just want to share how terribly moved I am, reading about what may have happened to Asha. What a sweet girl, and what an EVIL person to do this to her and her family.


      • I wish I had the answers instead of speculation and just lending my input; it’s so frustrating. Because I believe someone local is responsible, I have to remind myself to look outward before making my opinions public. But I hope that my readers can reel me in and keep me grounded by adding another viewpoint. Thanks for your time, JW and keep your insights coming!


  7. Chad says:

    I hate to say it but i think something bad has happened to this young lady…. I want to believe she is alive and i hope she is but it doesnt look good since they did find her bookbag buried about 20 miles from her home a year and a half after she went missing.


    • findingasha says:

      Hi Chad,
      Thanks for your insightful comment and taking the time to write in.
      I want so much to believe Asha will one day return to her family a healthy, young woman.
      While my blog has some very ‘dark’ theories, I would love to be wrong, and her abductor
      have grown a sense of remorse after all these years. People change and–hopefully–grow
      for the better.

      If I could speak to those responsible, I would remind them that turning themselves in
      shows remorse and proves they’re no monster; they just made a mistake. I can’t imagine
      carrying around that level of guilt every waking hour.

      At least they had the benevolence to bury the bookbag/backpack so it could be found.
      Hmmm. . . .



  8. M Davis says:

    I THINK THE Dad should be Questioned and polygraph test


    • findingasha says:

      I hear this a lot regarding Asha’s father and I wanted to answer your comment here, so everyone will know:

      Asha’s father–and mother–have BOTH been questioned extensively and cleared by local law enforcement, the SBI and FBI. Both have taken and passed polygraph tests (aka, lie detector tests). I cannot support them enough, as they have endured painful questioning I am sure. Even though they have cooperated fully, folks still say negative things about them. I don’t know what they have heard others say, but if it’s anything like I’ve dealt with via emails and comments, I feel terrible X 2.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, as you can help spread the true word about the tests and the family being crossed OFF the suspect list.


  9. Jadey says:

    I’m only halfway through this fascinating blog and it seems to me, it’s somebody she saw that her parents trusted.


    • findingasha says:

      Thanks Jadey for taking your time and commenting about your thoughts.

      It’s very hard to make a determination on who could be responsible for keeping Asha from
      her family, or keeping information under wraps that could solve this awful mystery.

      Asha’s mother told reporters during several interviews (and I’m paraphrasing here) that, ‘. . . somebody knows something.’
      Yes, ‘somebody’ does, and it’s my intention to keep the word about Asha’s case out here where the
      world can see it. Maybe one day–soon–that someone will realize it’s time to come forward.


  10. Sherran Osborne says:

    maybe someone told her that they would hurt her parents if she didnt go along.


    • Yes, that could be the case. Asha is well under the age of the runaway child, but might respond if threatened–especially by an adult. I firmly believe there is at least ONE person who has an inkling about a possible perpetrator but just can’t wrap their head around their suspicions being so. And they hang on the falsehood of “it can’t be so.” I IMPLORE this individual to come forward and do the right thing. If one is afraid to come forth, I beg them to find a person who isn’t. There’s nothing wrong with telling authorities, “I’m not 100%, BUT . . .” Perhaps if this individual asks themselves what they would want if it were their own missing child, it might be easy to come forward. We can only hope.


  11. considerthis says:

    We know what was found in the backpack, but do we know what was in the purse? I ask this because after going through some of the other posts in this blog and coming to this one, I thought back to what you had posted about the candy wrappers. Here’s something to consider. If these items were indeed placed by an abductor, and I think you’ve made a very good case for why this is entirely possible, then the candy wrappers might be instrumental in opening a line of deduction. The abductor knowing what kinds of clothes and bags she has would point to someone close to her, but still leaves a fairly large pool of people to suspect. However, her classmates that saw the wrappers knew they were the same kind of candy that had just been given to them after a recent game. That is a very specific piece of information to have access to. Either he found the candy in her bag randomly and discarded some wrappers to add to the staging he had already planned, or he knew she already had the stuff and either told her to bring that specific candy (which is an odd request no matter how you slice it), OR, he brought it with him to set up an almost literal trail of crumbs for people to follow to the spot he had chpsen. If he did indeed place things for others to find, then the candy wrappers cut down the field of suspects from anyone in close proximity to her family in the community, to someone who knew she received that exact brand recently, like someone at the school or, more specifically, someone involved with the basketball team. And knowing whether more of this candy was found in her purse or not would make the possibility of him finding it randomly and seeing an opportunity to help his scheme more unlikely. Something about this all definitely doesn’t quite add up. I think you’re right in your deduction that this was done by someone who knew the girl intimately and planned this meticulously. But it might just be his overthinking that does him in. The candy wrapper thing is such a specific thing to have knowledge of. If youre right about the items being left to be found, then the candy is something that seems coincidental by design when isolated, but put into context starts to reveal specifics about what he knows and therefore who he is.


    • The whole highway/shed thing is very questionable based upon new data from the NC Dept. of Highways numbers for that area. I may be amending some things. You bring some very credible points! Keep thinking and posting; you have exceptional insight. ~Wendy


  12. Ctho says:

    One thing here has left me confused. In the sightings of Asha walking along the highway she was dressed in all white, with a t-shirt on. Why didn’t she put the vest that was in her bag on? That would almost certainly warm her up a wee bit, and she’d have noticed it was cold very soon after she left the house. If she was walking alone at night, even if she didn’t know she would be, and she had a warmer item with her, why didn’t she put it on?


    • First, for my opinion: I don’t believe Asha walked the 1.3 mile stretch of highway, nor do I think she was in the shed, so it’s hard to answer your question. I would be just guessing again, but there were no lights along that stretch and if you can envision yourself groping for a piece of clothing while battling rainwater, I think it would be difficult, at best.


  13. Sarahkamc says:

    Leaving a trail a candy wrappers in a storm seems absurd. Like hansel and gretel. Also I am the mother of a well behaved, good student, always follows directions, girl. At that age she wouldn’t have left trash along the road. She would have tucked the empty wrappers back in her purse. Maybe one would have blown away, but that doesn’t even come close to making sense. Walking down the road, running from cars, in a storm no less? Eating candy? I don’t think so.


    • Thank you again, Sarah for lending insight to what a well-behaved girl’s psyche. I mentioned in another comment that we have no tangible evidence to go on, so we have to rely on a ‘reverse’ psychological profile (that’s my term since I don’t know technical term). Maybe someone can enlighten me. But getting back to your insightful comment, I don’t think enough people REALLY envision the complexity of the candy wrapper scenario like you have. I wrote a page here, on the blog about just that. BUT, I’m often blown away (in good way) with a majority of sleuthers with what they know and/or observe and very much appreciate you all who keep me on my toes!

      On a brighter note, I’m compiling a good amount of data for law enforcement. I won’t reveal names for folks who want to remain anonymous, so for you and everyone, keep up with sending all insights!


  14. helen says:

    I posted comments with questions about three months ago but they have not appeared on the blog.


  15. Greg Mohney says:

    I just wanted to add that when I was reading the case details, the wrappers seemed strange to me. Young kids from disciplined and “good” households usually don’t litter like that. Even at 40 (and as someone who doesn’t buy into all the global warming hoohaa), I would feel extremely weird just dropping candy wrappers on the ground. It just isn’t done.


    • Hi Greg, I’ve had more visitors comment about the candy wrappers lately, and its good to get opinions from both sides. The problem I had about the wrappers is the weather (one would be wet and chilled) and the complete darkness. If we would envision ourselves (even on a familiar highway) doing just that with the candy, it may be an opinion changer. Since I’m not the be-all, know-all with what happened, I’ll always welcome input. I will agree with you, Greg and thanks so much for caring and contributing. 🙂


  16. helen says:

    Hiya. I will try to remember what had stood out to me and my thoughts at the time I discovered and read everything online about this case. I hope I dont get mixed up.

    1st was the bookbag that was missing from Asha’s house is referred to as ‘black and beige’ however the bookbag that was found/dug up is referred to as ‘black’. Is this implying that the bookbag that was missing from the home is not the same bookbag that was dug up….meaning that her belongings were transferred at some point.

    2nd I noticed that the witnesses said that Asha ran into the woods. However the ‘woods’ were only a small area of trees that were in front of houses further back from the road. However i recall that the other side of the road was more akin to being described as a ‘wood’. Could Asha have run into those trees on the opposite side of the road?

    3rd I hate this thought but with every story of a missing person discovered to be concealed within someones property, sometimes for many years…has it been determined that Asha is not hidden in someones basement/cellar..other structure on a property very close to the Shelby area.

    Next are just my own thoughts. When I was 9 I had an unhappy homelife. I used to dream of running away…I didn’t actually run away until I was 14. I don’t believe Asha went out that night of her own ‘choice’ … about age 9 I remember me and some friends decided to run away to America (to find Orphan Annie) we are in England…well we agreed to meet in the school playground at midnight. I remember I woke up and looked out of the window and you could practically see my school from my window, and it was in a little built up residential area, not a sparsely occupied expanse of highway. I did not go out that night I stayed home.

    Next I asked my 8 year old hypothetically “If you were going away from home for a few days, what would you take?”
    She replied…
    “A coat, a hat, a scarf, shoes, pyjamas, underclothes, clothes”
    NO mention of any photographs of any of her siblings or me. So I agree with your theory that another person was behind the photographs.

    Well I hope that is all but if I think of anything else I will add another comment. I may have used another email address before but something went wrong. I was at work and I wrote the comment then pressed ‘post comment’ it dissappeared and I assumed that comments had to be moderated. I kept checking back and nothing but I noticed new comments so I wondered.


  17. helen says:

    Just wanted to add….

    I read that you do not know if the bookbag contents were recovered with the bookbag which I am interested to know was actually the same one that was missing from her home…like I noticed it states the missing bookbag was “black and beige” but the retrieved bag was “black” the wording of which implies it was not the sane bag.

    Was the paper found inside the bag that had Asha’s name a piece of paper that was already in the bag? Was it written in Asha’s writing or another persons?
    Why do you not know what was recovered (or not) in the bag? Why is this info a secret?
    As for the photographs. It seems a whole lot of trouble to go to just to kill this child. It seems more likely the perp ensured pictures were taken so that Asha could look at them seen as he knew she was not going to go home.
    I know the family are not suspects and I am not implying they are but I always thought it odd that it is highlighted over and over again that Asha was ‘deathly afraid of dogs’ and that her mother ‘never thought she would go out’
    Was the Shelby area notorious for dogs to be roaming the streets? I just find it weird and Asha evidently did go out in the day at least to school and home without her parents albeit if with her brother from.what I have read. It just seems odd but then in grief things can be said that seem out of context or odd to an outsider.


  18. Julia says:

    Hello, I am just finding your blog and still have some reading to do. I apologize if it is explained elsewhere- do we know what the 3 photos were of ” family”. Thank you so much!


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