Found Deceased NH - Ashley Turcotte, 31, last seen at home, her car found at the town hall with her phone & backpack, Barnstead, 4 Jan 2024


Updated: 6:33 PM EDT Mar 16, 2024 (News 9 video report at link)

Ashley Turcotte, 31, was last seen Jan. 4. A wide-scale search started Saturday morning, and Turcotte was found in the woods off New Road, near where police said her car was found abandoned with some of her personal belongings inside, police said.

"It's a very unfortunate outcome, but at least we've got some closure for the family, and really, that's what we've been looking for at this point," said Barnstead police Chief Paul Poirier.

Authorities said her death does not appear suspicious, and there is no sign of foul play.

"There's no reason to believe that there is any criminal element to this. We want the public to know there is no reason for concern," Poirier said.
 
I made a little Google map showing where Ashley's car was found and where she was last spotted at the Dollar General. When she was first reported missing I saw quite a few people comment that it was strange she was never spotted walking between the two locations since it's not really a pedestrian-friendly area and someone on foot walking along the road would stand out. What I noticed when I zoomed in on Google was that there seems to be some paths through the wooded area behind and between the town hall and the Dollar General. Even though it's densely wooded you can see a bit of the path peeking through the trees in some spots and you can see a little footbridge over the Suncook River. This may explain how she was able to get from her car (if, indeed, she did park it there herself) to the Dollar General without being spotted by anyone.

And if she was sadly intent on self-harm, I would expect to find her somewhere in these woods. She may have returned to them after getting what she needed from the store and carried out her plans.

I added some arrows to my map so you can see the little bridge and footpath better.View attachment 486366

In comparison to the Dollar General (top of map), Ashley being recovered on New Road (bottom rt) is very near her vehicle (parked at Town hall).
 

Updated: 6:33 PM EDT Mar 16, 2024 (News 9 video report at link)

Ashley Turcotte, 31, was last seen Jan. 4. A wide-scale search started Saturday morning, and Turcotte was found in the woods off New Road, near where police said her car was found abandoned with some of her personal belongings inside, police said.

"It's a very unfortunate outcome, but at least we've got some closure for the family, and really, that's what we've been looking for at this point," said Barnstead police Chief Paul Poirier.

Authorities said her death does not appear suspicious, and there is no sign of foul play.

"There's no reason to believe that there is any criminal element to this. We want the public to know there is no reason for concern," Poirier said.
Self-inflicted ?

At least her family has some answers.
Omo.

Rest in eternal peace, Ashley !
 
I'm surprised she was found so close by.. I was optimistic the outcome might be different, because I wouldn't have expected her to walk far from her car for self harm, and if she hadn't walked far they would have found her by now... There goes that reasoning :(

This makes me second guess (again/still) their continual resistance to community help in the search..

Rest in peace Ashley.
 
I'm surprised she was found so close by.. I was optimistic the outcome might be different, because I wouldn't have expected her to walk far from her car for self harm, and if she hadn't walked far they would have found her by now... There goes that reasoning :(

This makes me second guess (again/still) their continual resistance to community help in the search..

Rest in peace Ashley.
I know. I wonder if they focused on the area west of her car behind the library near the river, the river itself, and the huge wooded area north and northeast of her car and the town buildings. Maybe no one crossed the road and looked toward that street where the homes are. Or maybe they did and missed her, as we have seen was the situation in many, many searches… found within 1/2 to 1 mile despite “extensive searches.”
 
Refresher of prior reports -- Ashley was initially reported on missing posters as last seen outside her residence on Thursday, January 4.

Police first posted the missing person announcement on their FB on Sunday, January 7-- including that police had located her vehicle on Friday, January 5, parked at the Town Hall.

Ashley's last proof of life was later confirmed by surveillance video at the Dollar General on January 4 at 9:18 a.m. and 10:44 a.m.

Following a planned search, Police reported that Ashley's body was recovered on Saturday, March 16 on "New Road" which is located near the Town Hall where her vehicle was found parked. The case is now in the hands of the County Coroner.

We don't know enough about Ashely as to whether or not it was typical for her to leave her phone inside her vehicle when going about her errands and/or walking in town but I'm sorry she did not have a way to call for help before perishing. :(

According to the Barnstead Police Department, Ashley Turcotte, who has been missing for over three weeks, was last seen on January 4 at a Dollar General in Barnstead. Police said she made purchases at the store at 9:18 a.m. and 10:44 a.m.

There were no cameras outside the store, police said, and the only images currently available from her last known whereabouts were from security footage inside the store.

[..]

The following day, police found Turcotte’s silver Hyundai Elantra parked at the town hall the following day. Her belongings, including a backpack and cell phone, were found inside the car. Search crews have since carried out “extensive searches of land and waterways” but have not been able to locate her.
^^rsbm
 
Until we get something more detailed from the medical examiner, I'm still of the opinion that she most likely went for a walk, slipped and fell on the icy path (far enough that she wasn't visible from the path), and was unable to rescue herself.
But will we ever hear from the medical examiner? I feel like these stories disappear after the body is found.
 
I'm glad that Ashley's family has some answers. IMO, the cause of death will be self harm. The stills of her in Dollar General speaks a lot.
It's is reported that with the snow being gone and leaves off trees, this was an ideal time to resume searches.
I wonder what transpired, if anything, prior to her disappearsnce. I'm so sorry Ashley
 
I'm glad that Ashley's family has some answers. IMO, the cause of death will be self harm. The stills of her in Dollar General speaks a lot.
It's is reported that with the snow being gone and leaves off trees, this was an ideal time to resume searches.
I wonder what transpired, if anything, prior to her disappearsnce. I'm so sorry Ashley
I agree with your conclusion. And, yes, so very sad. Making art has gotten me through some tough times and I'm sorry it couldn't save Ashley.

The mystery remains - why the shopping right before? (Although I am aware that suicide can often be a spontaneous act.)
 

March 16, 2024

Searchers from fire departments, police, New Hampshire National Guard, and conservation officers from NH Fish and Game started at the location where she was last seen. They spread out, searching further into wooded areas.

[..]

Turcotte's body was discovered in a heavily wooded section near New and Shackford Corner roads, roughly half a mile from where her car was left parked in the Barnstead Town Hall parking lot on Jan. 4, according to Fish and Game Lt. Adam Cheney.

Barnstead Police Chief Paul Poirier said an autopsy will be conducted next week to determine the cause and manner of death, but no foul play is expected. Sources say she was found wearing the same clothes that she was wearing when she was last seen on video.
 
Turcotte's body was discovered in a heavily wooded section near New and Shackford Corner roads, roughly half a mile from where her car was left parked in the Barnstead Town Hall parking lot on Jan. 4, according to Fish and Game Lt. Adam Cheney.

RSBM How does Ashley get herself into that heavily wooded area?
 
Turcotte's body was discovered in a heavily wooded section near New and Shackford Corner roads, roughly half a mile from where her car was left parked in the Barnstead Town Hall parking lot on Jan. 4, according to Fish and Game Lt. Adam Cheney.

1710863649967.png
The two roads here intersect nearly across the road from the Police Station. Appears to me the landmarks of the entire area (from the Dollar General to school, USPS, Town Center, Police) is heavily wooded. So sorry for Ashley's family and community.

Google Map
 
Last edited:

  • Cheney said the remains were found about 50 yards into the woods, about 0.5 miles down New Road from Town Hall on the opposite side of the river.
  • The remains were located in a densely-wooded area and drones engaged in recent searches would have likely been unable to spot her body because it was shrouded by trees.
  • Line searches including K9 officers were conducted on Jan. 11, and came within 0.1 mile of Turcotte’s remains, just out of range for the dogs.
  • Fish and Game officers changed their intended search area after an investigation conducted by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department and Barnstead police revealed Turcotte left her debit card in her car at Town Hall after making purchases at Dollar General.
Gosh, this is frustrating. If they knew the whole time that her debit card was back in her vehicle after she used it at the Dollar General, the original search area would have been around her car, not around the store. And to know that the search dogs came so close to her body months ago without finding her. Poor Ashley. :(
 
That's a good insight on the plowing... As for snowfall, I don't see totals for Barnstead, but Strafford, a neighboring town got 7". Others in the area closer to a foot.
I'm not sure about Sunday but I thought her vehicle was found on January 5th. It snowed the next two day 6th and 7th and barnstead got about 13 inches from the report that I read at wmur, Wmur has a list they keep of reported snowfalls. NH snow totals: What did you get in your community?

NH snow totals: What did you get in your community?
  • Center Barnstead 13.0”
 
Thanks that is what I originally thought bc I remember commenting before asking why it took so long to report her missing but many articles are saying last seen 1/4 and her car found Thursday so these articles confuse me.

"Ashley Turcotte, a 31-year-old artist from Barnstead, N.H., was last seen at her home on Jan. 4."

"Turcotte was reported missing on Thursday, after her vehicle was found parked at the Town Hall lot."

Last Thursday was Jan 4th which they are saying is when she was last seen at her home as well as the second article saying Thursday which wasnt just yesterday so would both be last seen and car found on that same 1/4 Thursday date.
I was under the assumption she was last seen at her home on the 3rd, Then On the 4th at around 9 she was viedioed at the Dollar General Store, and then again about an hour and twenty minutes 10:44am aprx. also at the Dollar General. Her vehicle was found on the 5th at around 5:30 PM allegedly, I'm not sure about the time or even if her vehicle was captured on video at 10:34AM or so and 7 minutes later she is at the Dollar General Store for 10:44, In one or both trips it was reported weeks or so later that she had purchased Salt and a Bag of Candy. The fact that it's never been reported that someone seen her vehicle at the town hall lot or recalls seeing it there . There is only one way in basically to that lot and one would have to have driven by it specially if the vehicle was there on the 4th before it was reportedly found on the 5th. Either closing time at 4:30 4th , 8:30am 5th anytime on the 5th or even 4:30 on the 5th, with people coming and going in what almost 32 hours after she was last seen at dollar general 10:44am 3rd. Based on the post of January 2nd on Etsey it was suppose to be "just a Short Break" Doesn't really imply a long term absence. Most of my information actually all is from what I read on the internet, and there is quite a bit. Any how before the actually search when she was found it was reported the National Guard would be helping out by WmUr i think, and that they were using some type of GPS to aid in their search. I was under the assumption that the GPS information could of been possibly her data from her phone, and hence maybe her phone was near the place where she was found at some point, less or abround a 1/2 mile from the Town Hall lot. I would appreciate any valid information anyone can provide so I can clear the matter up in my mind's eye.
 

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