Finding Asha Degree, Shelby's Sweetheart

Home » Friday Posers: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Friday Posers: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I’ve been very impressed with the level of insight, time, thoughtfulness, and effort so many of you–from literally around the world–have extended to bring this case forward, and hopefully, solved.

It’s with this ideal, I’m starting ‘Friday Posers,’ a weekly question based upon the information in the blog. The purpose of this exercise is not to entertain at the expense of a missing child; it’s to get us all thinking. Maybe we’ll arrive at the same ‘destination.’

I’ve always believed Asha’s case needs to be gone over with a dedicated, fresh set of eyes from their first page forward. It’s absolutely critical from what I’ve gathered.

Feel free to comment on any earlier posts.

It may be best to read this post here before scrolling down to the March 25, 2016 post:

March 18, 2016: The Storage Shed Mystery

 

asha degree

Business owner points to area where the items were found. Image Source: The Shelby Star, Feb. 2000

 

Many folks mistakenly think Asha’s Mickey Mouse hair ‘bow,’ and 1996 Atlanta Olympics pencil and marker were found three days after Asha was spotted in the area–on Thursday.

But an owner of Turner’s Upholstery reported to local newspaper, The Shelby Star that she found the items in her open shed on TUESDAY morning (less than 36 hours) after Asha was witnessed walking in the “torrential downpour” with no hat nor coat.

Along with those items identified as Asha’s,  cellophane candy wrappers were also found along the highway with a few in or near the shed. These wrappers were recognized by Asha’s friends as the candy she received after the games.

Take a long, hard look at the shed and the info I just posted. You might be thinking similarly as me–or not. I’ve several questions and I have some criticism for law enforcement back in 2000. Please note, I’m NOT referring to present law enforcement; I just think someone should take note of the obvious, start from the beginning and pour over the files.

Okay, let’s start with these questions:

  • If a child, thought to be Asha, was seen by at least two witnesses walking near the Turner property, why didn’t law enforcement approach her to search the out buildings? If they had, Ms. Turner would have presented the hair bow and other items to law enforcement. Turner reported to The Shelby Star that she found the items on Tuesday morning, but didn’t relate them to the girl who lived so far away.

Think about this and please remark how odd or not, that was.

  • Spot where Asha’s items is pointed out. Note the ground cover, gravel and please remark what you think LE (in year 2000) should have done. What would you do if you were  in charge of the case?
  • Look at the Google Map image below. The Upholstery shop is a long way down that driveway. What can you infer from the distance, no lighting, and the fact that rain was in full-throttle mode? Would you make it down that driveway in the pitch black?
  • One witness reported seeing Asha at 4:15 a.m. What does that say for the timeline when Asha was discovered missing less than 2.5 hours later at 6:30 a.m. with sunrise at 7:10? Think about the length of the driveway.
  • Law enforcement told local news channels on Monday, they would be searching through the night. What does that say about those items found in the shed on Tuesday morning (considering Asha was last seen in the Turner Upholstery area) ?

 

ASHA storge shed

 

 

March 25,  2016: Candy Wrappers on the Highway

The Thursday, Feb. 18, 2000’s edition of The Shelby Star reported “. . . cellophane candy wrappers [found] near Highway 18 not far from where the motorists saw Asha [were identified] as the type Asha had at home. . . . ”

Having glossed over the official weather conditions for rain fall and temperatures, I noted a full inch of rain fell between 2/13 and 2/14. That’s quite a bit of rain, to say the least.

Keep the rainfall in mind.

Now, the property owner reported finding those same-type candy wrappers on Tuesday morning–I talked about them in the post above.

Keep in mind these points:

1) cellophane candy wrappers tend to blow around with wind made by highway traffic

2) grasses along the highway are more low-lying and dormant in winter

3) no rain fell after the 14th; so no rain fell Tuesday, the day the first few wrappers were found in the shed, and no rain fell Thursday, the day the other wrappers were found along the highway

If we guess the wrappers had belonged to Asha and then dropped somehow, what does the fact that the wrappers were found in two places mean to you?

What does it mean to you that wrappers were found on two different days despite intensive searches on foot, horseback, S&R dogs?

What does it mean to you that wrappers were found on Tuesday and none Wednesday, then again on Thursday–in relative close proximity?

Does thinking about the last three questions (together) make a difference to you?

 

I found that when I pulled the points apart and thought about them, I could see a clearer . . . er . . . oddity; something seems strange.

What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment.

 

April 08, 2016: There’s Just about the Shed . . . and its Distance . . . and the rain. What Does It All Mean to you?

The Shelby Star reported on Asha’s disappearance as each day went along (from 2/14/2000) that first week, and as new developments unfolded, in particular. It’s these reports that I’ve been able to work out a timeline, but more on that at a not-to-distant, later date.

According to The Star’s report, ” . . . a pencil, a green marker and a Mickey Mouse hair bow inside the doorway of a tool shed at Turner’s Upholstery on N.C. 18. The shed sat 100 yards or so west of the same highway that a truck driver saw Asha walking along.”

If you scroll up on this page you’ll see the location of the shed (to the left of the highway; marked with a star). If you can, recall the questions I asked on the last two Friday Posers. What did you think about the candy wrappers being in two different places?

We learned from The Shelby Star (now, The Star), the candy wrappers, pencil and Mickey Mouse hair bow were identified as belonging to Asha. The cellophane-wrapped candy was given out after Saturday’s basketball game to the team.

I posted the source link below.

From the information we can glean in The Shelby Star’s report, IF Asha was in that shed, where would you most likely believe the candy/wrappers were retrieved from? Now, the newspaper article didn’t mention the exact origin, or any specifics about the wrappers other than they were cellophane, but if you think of every detail from the newspaper, along with the opinions I’ve mentioned, you can come up with a decent answer. Nothing is etched in stone, but it’s your insight that gets the ball rolling in the right direction.

Now, moving along to distance: The Shelby Star reported the distance from the highway where Asha was last seen and the shed is 100 yards; of course, that equals to 300 feet.

I’m among those who don’t believe Asha was in that shed. The newspaper didn’t say one way or the other, only that those items (known to be Asha’s) were found in the shed.

What does the distance, the fact that candy wrappers were found along the highway and in the shed, plus the fact there was no lighting mean to you? Do you find that odd?

Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your side of the story.

I do want to remind you all, that the purpose of these weekly posers is to keep us all thinking about Asha, her family, her story, and hopefully have the blog shared. Let’s find her!

The Shelby Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Glenn says:

    All excellent points, Wendy — points that emphasize exactly how dubious the “investigation” really was.

    Like

  2. Deborah Lail says:

    Did they [LE] check for the scent at the shed? Where there any finger prints on any of the contents or on the bookbag? Asha may have seemed happy to some but a lot of abused kids don’t show the way they really fear out of the fear itself…just sayin it seems odd to me that a nine year old would even go outside the house that late at night and with the raining also,even if someone was trying to get them to come out, with the planning of something for the parents anniversary. I’ve had 6 children and none of mine would of left for anything under those circumstances unless they were afraid of something else even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • findingasha says:

      Thanks Deborah for stopping by. I wanted to be sure and reply to your comment in particular, as many people
      can’t wrap their minds around why a 9-year-old would leave their happy home in a cold storm. I’ll be posting
      about why I think so many of us are stymied.

      I DO want to say here that I believe with every ounce of my heart and mind that Asha was NOT an abused or
      unhappy child. There are several behavioral indications professionals use to conclude whether a child fits
      the abused-child profile.

      Since I’m no expert, I’ve had to study (and painfully so) those expert-authored papers to help support my own opinion.
      It’s very hard for me to answer all of your insightful questions without repeating much of what’s in the blog–and I know,
      that’s a LOT to read, remember and rewrite here. look later in the week for my latest post. Thanks again!

      Like

  3. Ahmed Soltan says:

    Thanks for the great work,

    I have been following this case since long time and just recently i found your website and i’m glad i did as it contains a wonderful content about the case.

    I’m neither american nor native english speaker .. i could not get your point from the candy wrapper .. if possible could you briefly explain what is your thoughts about find the candy wrapper in the shed

    Like

    • Well, Ahmed, You certainly are well spoken! The candy wrappers ( I mentioned them in the post) in the shed were found on Tuesday MORNING. They were identified by those who knew Asha, that they were the same type of candy that was given out after the game. But those wrappers–and hair bow, pencils and a marker–were missed by search teams and sniffer dogs! The highway candy wrappers were either missed by searchers and dogs, OR those wrappers weren’t left by the roadside until Thursday. I really don’t think all those searchers and all those dogs missed the candy wrappers. I don’t think (only my opinion) those wrappers showed up in two different places on two different days. There is something ‘not right’ about this scenario.

      Keep up your good work, Ahmed. Keep posing questions so we can bring Asha home!

      Like

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