BREAKING NEWS: 44-year-old Carolee Ashby cold case appears to be solved

Carolee Ashby
Carolee Ashby

by Carol Thompson

For 44 years, Marlene Ashby waited for the day when she would learn the truth about the driver of the car who took the life of her four-year-old daughter.

For Ashby and her family, the wait is apaprently over.

Last Thursday, a City of Fulton resident reportedly confessed to police of being the driver of the car that hit and killed Carolee Ashby as she walked with her sister on Halloween night in 1968.

The Fulton Police Department is not releasing the identity of the driver publicly, according to Marlene’s daughter Darlene McCann, and while the family was allowed to read the confession, they weren’t allowed to have a copy.

The person who confessed to hitting Carolee will not be charged, McCann and Ashby said they were told, His name isn’t being released because he gave only a 99.9 percent confession, they said.

The case was cracked when a Facebook post, written by former Fulton Police Lieutenant Russ Johnson, led a witness to come forward. The witness alleged that she was asked by the driver’s mother to provide an alibi for her son (see related story). The witness said she refused to do it. The mother allegedly had put together that her son had been the driver to hit and kill Carolee.

Ashby and McCann said they were told that two brothers were in the car and both were intoxicated. The driver of the car, who was 19 years old at the time, reportedly told police that he wasn’t sure what he had hit, but knew he had hit something.

And while the wait is over for the Ashby family, the frustration and anger has just begun.

That’s because police had questioned the suspect several days after the accident and let him go, despite evidence against him.

The police report from November 3, 1968 states that the suspect had been questioned and an officer had noted that his story wasn’t consistent with the damage to his car.

“(Suspect) came to the station as his brother went to Tug Hill and had him come home from from a hunting trip,” the police report states. “I checked (suspect’s) car and found damage to the left front fender which he claims happened Oct. 31, 1968 on Route 57 at about 6:45 p.m. as the result of his car striking a guard post.”

The officer continued, “We went to where he claimed this accident took place and in my opinion the damage to his car never happened as he claims. I pointed out to (name redacted) that the paint that was removed from post was about 26 inches from the ground and the damage caused by the impact was close 35 inches from the ground.

The officer, whose name is redacted on the copy given to the Ashby family, stated that the dent in the fender was the size of a person’s head, something the suspect couldn’t explain. The brother of the driver was also questioned and could not tell police where the accident had taken place.

The suspect’s car matched witness descriptions, yielding yet another point of frustration for the Ashby family.

 To read the rest of the story, see tomorrow’s paper

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11 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: 44-year-old Carolee Ashby cold case appears to be solved”

  1. We the people of Fulton that have grown up with the Ashby family and have shared in the loss of Carolee throughout the years of wondering who could of done this and not come forward to somehow ease the familys pain. We have raised our children to know about Carolee, in fact my daughter is the one who told me of the new developement. How can with a 99.9 percent confession that our police department can’t or won’t charge this person? Statue of Limitation my god, this is a death of an innocent child,maybe he can’t be charged,but his name should be released for the rest of the city to now know, we also have mourned this childs death. At least make him accountable in someway for what he has put the Ashby family and the city of Fulton and surrounding communities through for all these years. Make his name known.

  2. Mike Viscome Every Halloween I think of this poor little girl who from what I remember was holding her sisters hand as she was hit.Please FULTON LAWMEN do the right thing .If this was your family member you would do JUSTICE ,don’t let the blood be on your hands,do the right thing.Come on Fulton.

    Bev Mills is right when she said…We the people of Fulton that have grown up with the Ashby family and have shared in the loss of Carolee throughout the years of wondering who could of done this and not come forward to somehow ease the familys pain. We have raised our children to know about Carolee, in fact my daughter is the one who told me of the new developement. How can with a 99.9 percent confession that our police department can’t or won’t charge this person? Statue of Limitation my god, this is a death of an innocent child,maybe he can’t be charged,but his name should be released for the rest of the city to now know, we also have mourned this childs death. At least make him accountable in someway for what he has put the Ashby family and the city of Fulton and surrounding communities through for all these years. Make his name known.

  3. I think now that the police are closing this case, a Freedom of Information
    Act request should be made by the local paper or family to obtain the name(s) of the people involved in this cover up. The family and the long time residents who knew and remember that beautiful little girl deserve to know the names of the culprits and the others that covered it up all these years.

  4. Once again, lets protect the guilty. What about this family who has carried this trauma with them for 44 years. Ridiculous!

  5. Im sure the name of person that “confessed ” will become known by word of mouth. Things like this are hard to keep under wraps.
    On a side note, why would anyone post something without using their actual name? Cowardly. Just a peeve , thats all.

  6. This is a story of my aunt who was a fatal hit and run victim. I want to know why in this world why no one is held accountable for their actions. I want to ask the public to spread this case and see if there is something that can be done to change laws in cases like this. The accused should not be able to walk away from the problem when the family had to live with the fact that their beautiful daughter, sister, aunt and many family members have had to live with. Please do the right thing people and demand justice for a person that hid the brutal dragging of a 4 year old child 133 feet down the road, stopped….looked and drove away.

  7. Anyone on facebook please join our page “Carolee Sadie Ashby” to post any comments about the case, photos or memories!

  8. I lived with the Ashby family while attending college in Oswego and still remember that night with horror every Halloween. I’m just sickened by the fact that the individual(s) responsible will not be held accountable because of the statute of limitations.

  9. As I wrote in another post…. Isn’t there a Statute in New York about Obstructing Justice ?? Maybe they can’t prosecute him on the hit and run… But he’s lied to Police… Can’t he be arrested for lying to the Police?? Surely there’s no statute of limitations on lying to the Police to cover a homicide by vehicle ?? Even if it was 45 years ago….

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