The Ashley Reeves Story is an inspiring of strength and courage based on the extraordinary true story of a typical teenage girl. Ashley Reeve was living an ordinary life in Wisconsin when she became ill with a rare disorder that threatened her very existence. For three years, she battled for her life, first against the disorder in the hospital, then against disbelieving doctors and finally against time as she struggled to find a cure.
Every day during her journey brought new challenges, from painful medical procedures to financial strains caused by costly treatments. Despite being faced with unimaginable odds, Ashley refused to give up hope and continued to fight for her health and happiness. As she navigated the trials of her illness, she found solace in sharing her story with others who had similar experiences and through it gained incredible resilience.
Ashley Reeves: The Real Story Behind the Lifetime Movie
17-year-old Ashley Reeves was a high school junior who was residing in Millstadt, a village in Illinois, with her parents and younger sister Casey. She was doing well in school, had many friends and even a boyfriend named Jeremy, who was adored by her parents.
Ashley was eagerly awaiting graduation. Little did she know that just a year before she was set to walk across the stage, Ashley would experience the unbelievable and live to tell her story.
Rise & Fall of Ashley Reeves’ Life
On Thursday, April 27, 2006, Ashley instructed her dad and mom she become going to a activity interview in Fairview Heights, a metropolis approximately 20 minutes faraway from Millstadt. Ashley instructed her dad and mom she might play basketball after the interview and could be domestic by way of her 10 pm curfew.
Ashley Reeves carried a alternate of garments and left for the interview at three:30 pm in Jeremy’s vehicle, which she had borrowed for the day.
By 10:30 pm, curfew had come and long gone, yet there has been no signal of Ashley. Her mom, Michelle, asked her youngest daughter Casey if she had spoken to Ashley, however Casey said she hadn’t heard from her sister all day.
Michelle and Casey called Ashley several instances and left more than one text messages, however she never answered, in contrast to her.
Following her intestine feel that something had long gone wrong, Michelle referred to as St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.
At first, officers had been sure Ashley turned into out along with her friends and had misplaced music of time, but 8 hours into the investigation, they found Jeremy’s car deserted in Laderman Park, Belleville, 15 mins faraway from Ashley’s domestic.
Investigators determined Ashley’s bag in the car, which contained the clothes she would have worn had she long past to play basketball.
Detectives quick found out this wasn’t a normal case of a rebellious teenager resisting her dad and mom’ strict curfew; this become a lacking individual research, and time become of the essence.
Detectives added Jeremy in for thinking due to the fact that he changed into Ashley’s boyfriend and it become his car she were using, but they fast understood he was no longer concerned in her disappearance.
Jeremy advised detectives he had permit Ashley borrow his car to go to a activity interview followed by means of a basketball sport.
Detectives questioned why Ashley would play basketball at a park up to now faraway from her domestic while there has been one right in her neighborhood.
Unless she changed into assembly a person.
While detectives inched closer inside the search for Ashley, Michelle called the cellphone employer; considering Ashley become most effective 17, her phone become in her mom’s name. She become capable of get access to her phone information detailing all of her incoming and outgoing calls.
Michelle went thru the information and found out there have been several calls from one particular wide variety. Michelle known as the variety and connected with 26-12 months-vintage Samson Shelton.
Michelle asked Samson if he had visible or heard from Ashley. He said no, and before she ought to question why he changed into speaking together with her teenage daughter, he hung up the phone.
Fortunately, Ashley kept her pals up to date on her private life and what they told detectives sent chills down Michelle’s backbone.
According to Ashley’s friends, she become romantically worried with an older man. The two might often acquire to play basketball collectively, and Ashley had plans to meet him the day she went missing.
That man turned into Samson Shelton.
Samson become a motive force’s ed instructor and gymnasium educate at a nearby excessive school. He turned into additionally a seasoned wrestler on the facet. Unsurprisingly, his nickname changed into “The teacher.”
Some of Samson’s lady college students cited him as the “lovable” teacher; others notion he turned into odd and a bit full of himself.
Detectives located that Samson turned into Ashley’s trainer in 2001 when she became within the seventh grade. They had reconnected in February 2006, two months earlier than she went lacking.
They regularly met in Belleville, in which Samson lived with his mother and grandmother, near Laderman Park, wherein detectives located Jeremy’s deserted car.
It changed into now Friday, April 28, and Ashley have been lacking for a whole night time. Michelle became conquer with ache as worrying thoughts crossed her thoughts: Was Ashley bloodless? Was she harm? Was she suffering?
Detectives went to the high faculty wherein Samson labored and took him in for questioning. Almost quickly, they knew he became worried in Ashley’s disappearance.
At first, Samson saved a fab and calm attitude; he changed into pleasant, polite or even cooperative with the investigation. However, as detectives uncovered increasingly more of his deceptions, the fact started out to spill out of his mouth.
When puzzled about his dating with Ashley, Samson said the 2 have been sincerely friends who hardly ever met to play basketball.
Samson maintained his dating with Ashley became strictly platonic, however whilst faced with statements from Ashley’s pals that their courting became romantic and sexual, he modified his tale in a desperate try to victimize himself.
Samson informed detectives Ashley had emerge as curious about him. He painted the image of an obsessed teenager with a crush who called him in any respect hours of the day and night. Samson stated he have been heading off Ashley for days, hoping she would leave him by myself.
Several hours into the interrogation, Samson showed that not only did he have sex together with his former student, however he became with Ashley on April 27, the day she went lacking.
According to Samson, he turned into using while he were given into an argument with Ashley. He wanted to end the relationship, however Ashley were given upset and commenced screaming at him. He pulled over, free Ashley’s seatbelt and instructed her to get out of the automobile. When she resisted, he pulled her out and left her on the side of the street.
Samson insisted Ashley turned into nonetheless alive while he closing noticed her, that there was no way he might have harm her due to the fact he had a ‘very susceptible belly.‘
Samson said he cared for Ashley and become simply as involved for her well-being as her circle of relatives, however could someone who cared for another drop them stranded on the side of the street within the darkish?
Phone facts showed Samson in no way even attempted to name Ashley later on to see if she turned into safe. Instead, he went to a local us of a bar and danced the night away.
Samson’s tale had modified so commonly. Detectives did no longer agree with a phrase he said. They pleaded for him to inform the truth; Ashley had now been lacking for nearly thirty hours, and time became strolling out.
It changed into most effective while detectives mentioned the frustration Samson’s grandmother would sense toward his movements that he commenced to cry.
12 hours into the interrogation, Samson defined in bloodless and annoying detail exactly what he had completed to Ashley and wherein he had left her to die.
According to Samson’s videotaped confession, he didn’t simply pull Ashley out of his car and leave her at the facet of the street. The part-time seasoned wrestler placed the teenager in a chokehold and dragged her out of his vehicle. He then heard a loud pop, and Ashley went limp.
Realizing he had snapped her neck, Samson panicked and pulled her into the woods, in which he strangled her with his naked fingers. When he found out Ashley become nevertheless breathing, he strangled her again together with his belt.
Using his foot for leverage, Samson positioned the belt around Ashley’s neck and pulled as difficult as he may want to until the belt snapped.
After the belt broke, Samson choked Ashley a third and very last time along with his hands earlier than starting up and leaving her to die at the bloodless hard floor deep inside the woods.
Following his confession, Samson agreed to lead detectives to Ashley’s body in Citizens Park, a 45-acre park in Belleville placed best 12 minutes faraway from Ashley’s domestic.
However, it had rained for the duration of the night, and after they arrived at the park, Samson could not remember precisely wherein he had left Ashley.
Armed with flashlights, detectives frantically searched during the woods for thirty mins. As they commenced to question whether or not it became all a trick by means of Samson, they eventually saw Ashley. She turned into lying on her back; her palms had been as much as her chest. Her tongue become protruding of her mouth, and loads of insect bites protected her body.
As the frustration of being unable to save Ashley in time washed over detectives, her palms all at once moved. Then, her chest started out to rise. Ashley was alive.
Miraculously, after being tried 3 instances to strangle nearly to demise and left within the bloodless for over thirty hours, Ashley had survived.
EMTs rushed to the scene and transported her to the local medical institution, where she became put into an induced coma.
Detectives knew the significance of the primary 48 hours and wasted no time inside the search for the lacking youngster. Had they no longer been able to convince Samson to steer them to her, it’s far fantastically not likely Ashley could have been located in time.
Samson changed into arrested and charged with first-degree tried homicide.
As he become taken into custody, Samson asked for a private lavatory. He said he suffered from a urinary stress disorder and would be ‘miserable’ if he was pressured to urinate in the front of others. His request become right away denied.
Samson proved to be a true narcissist who confirmed no empathy and no guilt for his actions. Despite his specific confession and the fact that he led detectives to Ashley, he pleaded not responsible and in no way apologized to her.
What Happened to Narcissists Samson Shelton Then?
Shockingly, Samson was launched on bail and placed on house arrest; a man who had snapped a teen’s neck, strangled her 3 times and left her for lifeless deep inside the woods became allowed to live inside the comfort of his own home for a whole 12 months as he predicted trial.
Just earlier than Samson faced expenses of attempted homicide in court, his mom Susan phoned the police stating he had tried to devote suicide by way of eating a concoction of various prescription pills and alcohol.
When deputies and emergency responders arrived at Samson’s home, they located him seemingly subconscious with the phrases, ‘do no longer resuscitate‘ written on his chest.
As EMTs tried to revive Samson, he all of sudden became alert and began attacking them with punches. He changed into then transported to the local sanatorium, wherein he allegedly made racial slurs towards a nurse and kicked her inside the face.
The judge presiding over Ashley’s case questioned Samson’s mental country, but prosecutors believed his suicide attempt become only a manner for him to gain empathy from capacity jurors.
A month later, a psychiatrist decided Samson was mentally in a position to face trial. Still, Ashley’s circle of relatives determined they did not need her to go through thru a retelling of the horrifying attack she had suffered on April 27 and signed off on a plea deal. Samson widespread the plea deal and was sentenced to twenty years in prison. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, his projected parole date is April 22, 2024.
Where is Ashley Reeves Now?
Ashley made an impossible recovery. Although she couldn’t remember the day Samson attempted to take her existence, Ashley refused to allow his offensive actions prevent her from pleasurable her dreams.
A few months after the assault, the distinctly robust and brave youngster had relearned how to talk, eat and drink. A 12 months later, she graduated from excessive school and began volunteering at a violence prevention middle.