Ashley Reeves was born in 1983 in Belleville, Illinois, United states. She was daughter of Michelle Reeves and Tracy Green Koenig. She has a brother named Daniel Koenig and a sister named Madison Koenig.
Ashley Reeves completed her elementary and high school education in the USA. She also had a boyfriend, Jeremy, whom she later married.
What Happened Before Ashley Reeves was Strangled?
On April 27, 2006, Ashley Reeves had an interview at Fairview Heights, which was 15 miles away from her parents house after which she had scheduled playing basketball. She borrowed Jeremy’s car for a day and told her parents she would come back by 10pm.
On not returning before her curfew, her parents questioned Ashley’s siblings about her whereabouts but they hadn’t heard from her all day. All baffled, her parents tried calling her friend circle but found no lead.
The Gruesome Nightmare of Ashley Reeves Life
Following the same night of interview, upon not finding their daughter, Ashley’s parents involved police. After investigating for hours, they found Jeremy’s car abandoned in Laderman Park, 15 minutes away from Ashley’s home.
They also found Ashley’s belongings in the car, including her sports wear for the basketball game she had scheduled but no sign of Ashley whatsoever.
The panic in the family rose. The first suspect was Ashley Reeves’ boyfriend since he gave his car to her. He was taken into custody and interrogated.
He told the police how he was out of the town the night Ashley went missing. Soon the investigators suspected that Jeremy had no involvement in the case.
A little later, Michelle, Ashley’s mother called the phone company to get a list of her daughter’s call logs. Michelle insinuated an unfamiliar name, Samson Shelton.
Ashley’s friends were called to get a lead on Shelton. On gathering the information, Michelle along with the detectives discovered that Simon was a 26 year old man who was romantically involved with her daughter.
It wasn’t one sided. Shelton was Ashley’s teacher in elementary school and worked as a gym coach.
Both Ashley Reeve and Samson Shelton would get together to play basketball in the park nearby his home where he lived with his mom and grandparents. Ashley had to meet him the same day she went missing.
Samson was called to investigate. Upon asking he cleared out very cooperatively that he didn’t see Ashley in a while. He also explained how he had a purely platonic relationship with her.
However he was kept for the night and after continuous interrogation, the police suspected Samson of having an involvement with Ashley’s disappearance.
That’s not all, Samson changed statements everytime he was asked about Ashley Reeves. The truth began to unravel itself.
After many made up stories, Samson confessed to driving Ashley when they both got into an argument. Samson wanted to break up with Ashley but she frowned and started yelling at him.
It took a toll on Samson’s patience and he asked her to get out of the car but she resisted, to which Samson got her into a wrestling chokehold. It made her neck pop and she went limp.
Not knowing what to do made Samson terrified. He decided to portray the situation as if Ashley was strangled in the woods. He dragged her out into the dense woods.
Ashley was unconscious but still breathing which made Samson strangle her again with his belt this time. He didn’t let go of it until he heard her gurgle. He then saw foam like mucus protruding out of her mouth.
For the last time, he used his foot as a leverage to tighten the hold of belt and choke her as hard as he could until the belt finally broke. When he sensed no movement in her body or changes in facial expression, he left her to die in the pits of woods while heavy clouds surrounded her.
The spine chilling statements prompted detectives to head into the woods to get a lead on Ashley Reeves body along with Samson. A whole day had already passed with continuous rain all night.
It was dark and cold but the distraught detectives dug for Ashley’s body all around the park. On not getting any hint of Ashley, at one point, the detectives thought it might just be another made up story by Samson.
However it was only after about 30 minutes that the detectives saw a glimpse of a body lying on the ground, disguised in layers of mud and bitten by insect bites.
On scrutinizing the body, it showed a little movement. Her hands moved and chest rose. Ashley was alive and breathing, it was no less than a miracle despite being strangled to death thrice and left in woods for 30 hours.
The emergency personnel reached to save Ashley. The paramedics there exclaimed how they didn’t think she would make it out of the woods alive.
Ashley was placed in coma and the diagnosis didn’t turn out well either. She had severe cold and marks depicting how she was strangled. She was barely breathing.
Ashley was placed in coma. On the other hand Samson barely had any marks of injury over his body. He was arrested in first degree murder attempt.
Where is Ashley Reeves now?
Ashley Reeves suffered from severe brain injury after the whole incident. She couldn’t recall anything that happened on 27th April except for the fact that she and Samson had a fight. It took her almost a year to get out of the life altering trauma.
She relearned how to speak, eat and live among people again. She relearned how to master life and not let any event become a hurdle in her path.
Today Ashley Reeves is 32 years old and lives in Belleville, Illinois, United Stated, where she is raising a family of three, including 2 of her children.
Where is Samson Shelton?
After Samson’s arrest, he was sentenced for 20 years. He failed to feel remorse for his actions. The 26 year ego maniacal never apologised to Ashley. He is still behind bars in Illinois Hill Correctional Centre and will be paroled after serving in prison for 2 more years, until 2024.
Left for dead: Ashley Reeves Story
Today Ashley Reeves is a living story of strength and optimism. The movie ‘Left for dead: Ashley Reeves story‘ was released in 2021, to portray her resilience after a brutal attack in woods. It is directed by Gloria Kim and produced by Jeff Vanderwal.