Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by fourboys, Nov 10, 2004.
Just like the Ramsey case.
With this case, it really does make more sense if it was an inside job. So much evidence doesn't add up. Asha was afraid of the dark, of dogs, her brother didn't wake up when she disappeared, the door was found to be locked that morning, etc. However, the authorities ruled out the parents really early on. They were never considered suspects that I know of. I do think the Dad's claim of going out to get candy in the middle of the night as very strange. If it was the parents I think it was accidental IMO. I would look at who attended the family gathering a few days earlier. Her grandmother's house was nearby. She could have walked there. I always theorized that it was someone close to the family. Like a friend of a uncle, cousin's new boyfriend, etc. In regards to if it was a family member, how could the Dr Seuss book and NKOTB shirt tie into that?
I disagree with the idea that the parents did it. I also have some thoughts on the case. Starting out, I think the parents are innocent. Here is why. First of all, I don't think they could have evaded the FBI and local police. During the early investigation, emotions would be rife, and they'd be caught up in the middle of the search. I really have difficult believing that, had they killed her, they wouldn't be found, slipping up and saying something leading investigators to them. Think about it: they've been up for hours, pretending to help look for their child, but they still wouldn't slip up, and refer to her in the past tense or something? I doubt it. Furthermore, during the later stages of the investigation (ongoing), I have difficulty believing that they'd be able to evade the spotlight, especially if information and leads are as dried up as some people seem to think. It's also worth considering that law enforcement personnel (especially FBI) spend their lives working cases like this. I'm generally a pretty skeptical person, but I'd imagine they'd be able to kind of "sniff" out suspicious characters, and just get a general gut feeling about who might be hiding something. If that was the case, and the parents were indeed guilty, why has the case not been closed by now. If it's the parents, there's exponentially less investigation to be done.
At any rate, I also think the notion that the parents not doing enough to advocate for Asha being found is a little shortsighted, especially when that is extended to implicate them in the crime. They could be private people, who either don't wait their personal lives broadcast, people who just have faith in the police, or, perhaps they know that progress is being made behind closed doors (i.e. disclosed to them, but not us). It's also worth considering why a case would have widespread media coverage to begin with. I think this can be broken down to two major reasons. Reason 1 is the desire of the parents to have the case broadcast. This can be nonexistent despite innocence, as discussed above. Reason 2 is the desire of the media to broadcast the case. Keep in mind the news in a for-profit business. If they don't think something will bring in the views, they won't broadcast it. Combining the potentially private attitudes held by Asha's mom and dad, combined with the disappearance of a black girl from an impoverished area, it's no surprise that Asha's case wasn't picked up by CNN and the like. The tragic reality is, a black girl disappearing from an impoverished area won't freak people out as much as other cases, and won't make as much money. It is for the above reasons I think we can really discount the lack of push for media coverage of Asha's case being anything that tells us about her parents' actions. At any rate I think that the Police know way more about this case than is being relayed to us. This idea supports Asha's parents lack of media engagement - why go to the media if the police are making progress? We all need to keep in mind that the Police are tracking down enough leads to justify paying someone full time wages to cover this case. That is not inexpensive. If leads had really properly dried up, why not assign the detective to a more active case? Spent taxpayer dollars and little to show for it don't look good come audit season - especially over the course of 20 years. This considered, my assessment is that they might even be waiting for a piece of evidence that will help them nail the person who did it, and secure a conviction in court (keep in mind they can only try the perp once - if I was an investigator, I wouldn't proceed pressing charges until I knew it would 100% result in a conviction). I think they do not want to publicize anything they find, as the Barron Ramsey confession largely derailed the investigation, and as we can all agree, resulted in nothing but wasted time. I think they want to ensure that information is kept under wraps, helping discount future false confessions (if they even happen). That is why I think the case hasn't dried up as much as some people suspect. Just joined web sleuths. This has been my pet case, hence the wall of text. I'd like to commend anyone who's made it this far though my writing here (I know my writing can be a little wordy!). Any responses or comments appreciated.
With regards to the shirt and the book, I feel like they were put in the book bag to point the finger away from the perpetrator, to make seem like it wasn’t the Family
Welcome to Ws andersgravlax, thanks for the well-thought out and detailed post!
Interesting point, but....why would they hide it so thoroughly instead of throwing it out along the roadside somewhere? That stuff was deeply hidden for a very long time. It's a miracle it was even discovered, much less linked to Asha. If someone wanted to deflect attention from themselves surely they would have made sure the "planted evidence" was easier to find and they were at it, why not just go ahead put something a little less vague in the backpack? JMO
I honestly do not agree with the immediate family being responsible. Again, JMHO.
Welcome! I, too, have been following this case for a long time. I was hoping that the Unsolved Mysteries reboot would pick this story up.
February 14: Jeff and Roy see Asha walking south on Highway 18 at approximately 3:30 and 4:15 AM respectively. Later that afternoon, Jeff sees her picture on TV and immediately reports the sighting to law enforcement. He erroneously says she was wearing a “little dress,” but correctly describes her as a pigtailed little girl carrying a book bag and wearing white tennis shoes.
February 15: Volunteer searchers approach the Turner family, who live almost exactly one mile south of the Degree home along Highway 18, and ask them to look through their property for any clues. Rallie Turner walks into the shed where they keep some equipment for their upholstery business and finds a hair bow, green marker, Atlanta Olympics pencil, and a photograph of a little girl she’s never seen before. Assuming that they live too far away for the items to belong to Asha, the Turners give LE the picture but hold onto the other objects. LE shows the picture to the Degrees, but they do not recognize it, so it is thought to be unrelated to the case.
February 16: Jeff is brought back to Highway 18 in hopes that he could identify exactly where he last saw Asha. He points to a spot about 600 feet from the Turner shed.
February 17: Searchers find candy wrappers on/near the Turner property and ask them about it. At this point, they turn over the rest of the objects, which Asha’s family recognize as belonging to the little girl.
So... in order for your theory to work... we have to assume that Jeff just coincidentally happened to see another little black girl with pigtails and a book bag walking along the highway almost exactly a mile south from Asha's home, coincidentally in the same ~4-hour window between the time Harold last saw her and when her parents discovered she was missing, coincidentally 600 feet from the shed in which some of her belongings were found.
It gets even sillier if you want to argue the items were planted. Let's say the Degrees somehow magically divined that Jeff saw her right there by the shed and planted them there. Why would they then undermine their own attempt to make it look like Asha ran away by... denying that they ever saw the photo that they themselves planted there? Only to change their minds and say "Oh yeah, that stuff is hers" after they were shown the rest of the items? And wouldn't they, you know, come up with some fake reason to explain why she ran away?
Also, there is not a single news article or interview to indicate that the Degrees were pushing a runaway theory or were even the first ones to suggest it. All indications are that the runaway theory only came about after LE received the eyewitness reports, which were then further solidified by the discovery and reporting of the items in the shed -- which came about in a way that virtually eliminates the possibilities that Jeff had prior knowledge of the items, or that LE influenced his story (being that they didn't know the photo was actually linked to the case until later), or that someone planted them after learning where he last saw her.
The Degrees are innocent and missing a much loved and very wanted daughter. Come with some actual evidence before you accuse these people of killing their child. And if you have that evidence, you need to go to LE because they're apparently unaware of it if they're still insisting 20+ years later that her parents are innocent.
First, Iquilla knows that because that's the conclusion law enforcement came to over 20 years ago based on the evidence and continues to stick to to this day.
Second, the Degrees never created any narrative that she ran away. There is no indication that they were the ones to first bring up the runaway theory (which is not even a "theory," it's a confirmed fact as far as LE is concerned); it appears that it only came about after the eyewitness reports that came in later in the afternoon.
I have to say that a lot of the messages posted here are very in depth and knowledgable which has given me a lot of new insight into this case and made me reconsider my viewpoints. But I still can’t imagine a 9 year old girl leaving her home at night in a storm with no coat on her back, while at the same time casually eating candy. I think we can all agree on one thing and that is a conclusion is sorely needed in this sad story
And that, my friend, is where we have all landed at one point or another along this sad and seemingly, never-ending, journey to find Asha. It isn't logical but it is what we have left. I don't think the puzzle pieces as they are will solve this case. We need someone to break their silence. I really hope that unsolved mysteries will pick it up and maybe even some podcasts with more visibility. Shake the bushes and rattle cages, if you will.
Completely unrelated to this case (well i think so anyway) but, found it interesting that in the UK, they too are presently looking for more clues after a cold-case murdered child's book turned up.
Oddly, just as in Asha's case, the book was a bit on the young side, imo, for the missing/murdered girl.
UK - Muriel Drinkwater,12, “Little Red Riding Hood murder”, Wales, June 1946 *DNA*
New suspect identified in unsolved murder of 12-year-old girl
''The team also uncovered a book that had once belonged to Muriel but was found in a Carmarthen charity shop. The team are still investigating if this has any relevance to the case and are appealing for anyone with information about it to come forward.''
The book that was found in a charity shop (Image: Dark Land: Hunting the Killers)
Anybody seen this yet?
Inmate says he knows what happened to Asha Degree | News Break
just saw it! The guy saying he has a tip is a pervert pedo who likely is incarcerated with some other sick pedo. Hoping to God this tip is legit! Here is a link to the tipsters inmate info.
NC DPS Offender Public Information
"Marcus Mellon wrote to the news outlet to say that the child was killed, and he knows how and where to find her.
Letter to the editor
Mellon, 53, was convicted of sex crimes against children in Cleveland County in 2014.
In his letter to The Star, Mellon says he has information and asked that it be passed along to the FBI.
Mellon asked investigators to come see him to find out what happened. Here is what he wrote:
Asha Degree has been missing for over 20 years. About four months ago I had found out her whereabouts and what had happen to her. She was killed and then took and buried. I do know how and what town she is in. I hope you get this letter and do come see me. It's on the up and up."
Inmate says he knows what happened to Asha Degree
He says he found out 4 months ago... Hmmm. So is that implying the perp is also an inmate there as well? And he says what town she is in... So she was taken out of Shelby... Hmmm.. I really hope this leads to something.
NC child disappeared almost 21 years ago. An inmate now says he knows what happened.
''Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman said the tip will be followed up on, but an obstacle will slow the process.
Mellon is serving nearly 14 years in prison and is housed at Alexander Correctional Institute where there currently is a COVID-19 outbreak. Norman said that investigators from his department and the FBI will interview Mellon when the situation at the prison is under control.
Though the child vanished more than 20 years ago, tips still get reported. According to the FBI, 45 came in last year.
Whether Mellon actually has knowledge of what happened to Asha, Norman said all tips are investigated. The sheriff did note that sometimes inmates have ulterior motives such as bargaining for preferential treatment during incarceration.''
''Local and federal money has remained in a pool for years, offering a $45,000 reward for information leading to a resolution in the case.''
"If anyone knows anything whatsoever that they think is insignificant, it may be the piece of the puzzle to bring Asha home and bring closure to the family," Norman said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 704-484-4788 or 704-672-6100.''
Obviously I think it should be followed up on, but if I was a betting man I wouldn't put money on it being a legitimate tip. Why write to the newspaper and not the police? Besides, this actually happened before, back in 2000 (if I recall correctly). Hopefully this will eventually be resolved, but I don't know if I think that this will be it.