Remains of missing mother Ashley Miller Carlson found in secluded wood as family seek justice

·3 min read
Ashley Miller Carlson, 33, who was found dead in a wood in Minnesota after being reported missing on 24 September (Miller family via FacebookA tr)
Ashley Miller Carlson, 33, who was found dead in a wood in Minnesota after being reported missing on 24 September (Miller family via FacebookA tr)

A vanished Wisconsin mother whose family organised a massive search for her has been found dead in a secluded wood in a neighbouring state.

Ashley Miller Carlson, 33, had been reported missing on 24 September after her car was found partly submerged in Graces Lake near Hinckley, Minnesota, leading hundreds of volunteers to comb the area.

But on Saturday, private detectives hired by the family said her body had been found in a wooded area off Grace Lake Road around 9am, not far from where her car turned up.

Justin Terch, president of the detective firm Applied Professional Services, said the remains were discovered by Christian Aid Ministries volunteers and are now being examined by police.

No cause of death has yet been determined, nor whether there was any foul play. But on Sunday, the name of a Facebook group set up to search for Miller was renamed to "Justice for Ashley".

"As a family, we are devastated, angry, frustrated and everything in between," said Miller's aunt Carrie Miller on Sunday. "Yet we did it; we did #BringAshleyHome,which is what we set out to do.”

A billboard for the missing woman posted by her family (Miller family via Facebook)
A billboard for the missing woman posted by her family (Miller family via Facebook)

"It brings us comfort and relief knowing she is back where she belongs, with her mom, her four kids and her family that love her beyond any words can describe.

"Thank you to the countless people who showed up every single time; we couldn’t have done it without any of you. Thank you for the prayers and support that we received over the last nine weeks; we felt them and they carried us through...

"Ashley, words will never be enough to tell you and show you how much you are loved and missed. Thank you for all that you shared with the countless people you shared your life with.

“Rest easy, sweet girl, and know that we will be here with and for your mom, your four beautiful children, as well as all of the family and friends you touched."

Miller's mother Krista Struck said: "This is a sad day our family hoped would not come, and there are still many questions that need answers, but the important thing is we now have Ashley."

For two months, officials in multiple counties had searched ground and air for the missing woman, with more than 6,000 people joining the Facebook group and sharing updates. Private investigators set up a 24-hour tip line, which received over 70 calls, while the reward for information rose to $20,000 (£15,048).

On Monday morning, Carrie Miller made a post suggesting that foul play is now suspected, saying: "One has to wonder why no one has come forward with the information about her whereabouts.

"Wonder no further, we know who you are. It is now our turn to sit back, say nothing and watch, just like you did to us. You will be revealed. Just as Ashley was found, you will be too."

Anyone with information on the case should call or text the tip line at +1 (218) 241-0341.

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