Springfield police not giving up on solving cold case

Dorothy Ashley was killed inside her home in August of 2016.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 7:44 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Frustrated but determined, Springfield police are not giving up on solving a murder that happened nearly 18 months ago.

Somebody knows who killed Dorothy Rush Ashley. Sgt. Dave Lewis with Springfield police said it may be the killer, or perhaps somebody the killer knows.

If you have information about the murder of Dorothy Ashley call the Springfield Police Department at 541-726-3714.

"People develop a conscience, and it's not unheard of for a person to be diagnosed with some medical condition and decide they need to tell cops something they wouldn't have said years ago," Lewis said.

Dorothy Ashley was 76-years-old and lived alone at 1370 R Street. On August 5, 2016, her son found her inside her home, lifeless and beaten.

"She was assaulted, probably with fists, and ultimately killed with an edged weapon," Lewis said.

Lewis said there was no forced entry. He said the woman's home had hundreds of knick-knacks all over her apartment and nothing was disrupted, and nothing to indicate there was a huge struggle.

"Except for the brutality in which she was attacked," Lewis said. "It was a very personal thing."

Lewis said early on detectives had little to go on. He said they talked to friends, family, a boyfriend -- and nothing added up. He said the fingerprints and DNA they collected are not enough to enter into a national database to find a comparison. Lewis calls it frustrating.

"We take a lot of pride in solving crimes here and we don't have any other unsolved murders except for this one," he said.

Nearly 18 months later, the case has gone cold. Ashley's case is a massive three-ring binder, a few files and loads of evidence all boxed up and locked up inside the Springfield Justice Center.

Lewis said he wants the case solved, "particularly for the family members." He said solving the murder it is not about pride, it's about catching a killer.

"This is a brutal murder and somebody is out there who has done this, and as far as I know, they're not in custody right now, so they're a danger to anybody they come across," he said.

Lewis said being able to make an arrest and call Ashley's family to alert them will be a wonderful thing.

"It's what we work for, it really is," he said. "It's what makes the job rewarding."

To accomplish that, Lewis said they need somebody to come forward with that little clue that busts the case wide open.

"If you hear anything, I don't care how crazy you think it is, please call us and tell us and let us check it out because we will check it out," he said.

If you have information about the murder of Dorothy Ashley in August 2016, call Sgt. Dave Lewis at the Springfield Police Department at 541-726-3714.

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