Finding Asha Degree, Shelby's Sweetheart

No Hat, No Coat: Why I Think This Is


We’ve come a long way from my first page but what I have to say next is fodder for great debate; but I’m sure my theory here, holds its own weight.

So far, we know that Asha packed three outfits, three family photos and a pair of black shoes along with her lime green Tweety Bird purse that she may be carrying separate. But what she didn’t have is very telling: no coat, no hat, no protection from the cold, wet rain.

Asha’s mother, Iquilla is quoted as saying, “No, none of her hats, coats or mittens were missing.”

Since we know Asha is well-cared for with having appropriate, cold-weather clothing, it’s safe to say she’s not at all accustomed to ‘toughing it out’ among the outdoor elements. Nor do I think she’s accustomed to going out or playing at night–or in rain–for any lengthy walks. Further, with Asha’s fear of dogs, it’s very likely she would have headed inside upon hearing the first dog bark or with the first chill.

Asha’s mother was known to keep both kids inside when the weather was, what she considered, ‘too cold’ regardless of it being sunny.

UPDATE 6/17/2015: I’ve studied hypothermia, it’s effect on a child Asha’s size, the weather conditions and the length of her walk as reported by authorities, and I must respectfully disagree with what’s perceived.

Asha had several ‘strikes’ against her that prevent a child her size walking that stretch of road in so little time:

  • Less-hydrated–to stay warm, the body needs ample water. Since Asha is reported by her brother as using the bathroom at 2:30 a.m., it’s highly likely that she didn’t have adequate water stores in her body, nor did Asha have large amounts of fat stores being an athletic child.
  • Wet/cold hypothermia would have set in quickly, as she did not have any insulating clothing, had a constant deluge of cold water with the rain and cold temperatures with no relief, no dry clothing. Her body was drenched and stayed that way. Her core temperatures would have fallen, and she would have been shivering uncontrollably.
  • The body loses much of its heat through the head. With cold rain, near freezing temperatures and no head wrap, her hair was drenched and stayed that way.
  • Adrenaline causes the body to lose heat, thereby adding to Asha’s exposure risks. Here’s an excerpt from about increase risk of hypothermia:
    •  “. . . are under a lot of stress or feel tired. Chronic stress or anxiety can cause your nervous system to release adrenaline, which acts to narrow the blood vessels that supply blood to the hands and feet.”

Page Poser: Why do you think Asha had no hat nor coat? Have any of your ideas changed?



  1. TruthisoutThere says:

    If your theory is that she was meant to be seen for witness purposes walking the road, her wardrobe makes sense. All white clothing in extremely low visibility at night would be one way to ensure her being spotted through fog. Also, being a t-shirt and no hat can confirm it was a young, black girl. It she had a coat, hat and mittens her identity would be hidden. The stark contrast between light and dark is a foolproof way to ensure what little possible witnesses there were, would be guaranteed to ID Asha to corroborate the runaway story the perp was trying to portray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • findingasha says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Tiot. I value all input–even if the info doesn’t agree with mine. But what you mention is very insightful. It’s so hard to visualize anyone having to do with a child’s disappearance. I believe with everyone’s help, we can move toward the truth!


  2. cmnsky says:

    Here’s my thing with the winter clothes…I have a daughter, she is 14 now, and ever since she has been able to dress herself, I have had to remind her in the winter to put a jacket on, put pants on, it is 30 degrees out there kiddo, why are you dressed for summer?! Of course, the child always says it isn’t THAT cold mom and when she gets outside to wait for the bus she shivers for a bit, then stomps back in and puts the proper clothes on. Now, the days that I leave the house before her when it’s cold, the coming back inside for a jacket usually doesn’t happen. I know that Asha was not as ornery as my child is (and let me tell you that it is a struggle to have a stubborn kiddo), but maybe Asha just didn’t realize how cold it really was outside when she left. Maybe she didn’t realize that with the rain it would be even colder. Maybe when she left her house, she did hit the inside lock and was unable to get back inside to retrieve any cold weather clothes once she felt what the weather was like. Maybe she just forgot to grab a coat in her rush to exit the house without being detected. Maybe she hadn’t planned on having to walk very far that night in the cold and rain. It’s just been my experience that kids don’t always pay attention to the weather and dress accordingly. Now, saying all that, do I believe Asha ran away? No, I do not. However, I do believe that she did leave her house of her own accord that night, I do not believe anyone went into the house and took her. What happened afterwards is just a mystery to me, but I am very interested in your theories on this blog.


    • Thanks so much for your insight, cmnsky. I did think about Asha just running out in a rush, but with her lengthy list of fears: the dark, thunderstorms, dogs, and strangers, I believe the torrential downpour of rain would have made foot travel near impossible. I studied this affect on anyone who travels by foot with rain in the face and cold (there is such a thing as wet/cold hypothermia) I believe she would have turned around quite quickly. Remember, there was no light to aid anyone on that highway; it’s pitch dark on a good night and the terrain is unpredictable with many ruts and drain pipes that would have been spewing water. See the images of the roadside. I know, it’s hard to realize if you don’t take everything into account. ~Wendy


  3. Newbie says:

    I’ve just recently heard about Asha and Google brought me to your blog. I’m curious though, where in this post did you actually say why you believe she was not wearing a hat or a coat.


  4. Stacy says:

    Because it was unseasonably warm with crazy storms I was out in in the early hours of that morning. The storms were moving out at that time….


    • Hi Stacy, I was gifted the official weather report for the month of February which of course, included the 13-14th. The temps were just one degree above freezing (34f). With the chill from rain, it wouldn’t take long before a small person would turn back toward home.


  5. Stacy says:

    It was not cold that night… I had surgery on my feet and was on crutches…. there was crazy storms that night…


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