Tag Archives: Carolee Ashby

Carolee Ashby confession coerced? Police: ‘We take allegations very seriously’

by Carol Thompson

A string of telephone calls purported to be from the family of confessed hit-and-run driver Douglas Parkhurst, alleging that his confession was coerced, is being taken seriously by the Fulton Police Department.

“We take it very seriously,” said Fulton Police Sgt. Stephen Lunn.

Since the time of the announcement that Parkhurst had confessed to being the driver of the car that killed four-year-old Carolee Sadie Ashby on Halloween night in 1968, the Ashby family said they have been receiving calls and text messages from people claiming to be family members, alleging that police coerced the confession from Parkhurst and that he did not hit Carolee.

Lunn said of the allegation that suggests the police had illegally obtained the confession is “one that we don’t take lightly.”

Carolee, her sister Darlene, and a cousin had gone to a store on S. Second Street in Fulton to buy candles for Darlene’s birthday cake and Darlene bought Carolee an ice cream cone.

They were headed back home and the cousin had ran ahead and safely crossed the street. As Darlene and Carolee crossed, a car suddenly came upon them and struck Carolee with a force that pulled Carolee’s hand out of Darlene’s hand.

Carolee was dragged or carried 133 feet and left in the road to die. The driver never stopped.

The calls have been disturbing for the Ashby family, coming at a time when they are dealing with the shock of the confession.

Lunn said the family should report the calls to the police, something Darlene Ashby McCann said she will do. They could be considered harassment, Lunn said.

Soon after learning of the confession, the family issued a statement requesting privacy.

The most interesting call allegedly came from Parkhurst himself to a grandson of Carolee’s mother. The caller, according to family members, said that he did not believe he was the driver who hit Carolee.

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Ashby family: Why did the police let him go?

by Carol Thompson

Carolee Sadie Ashby was struck and killed by a hit and run driver Oct. 31, 1968 at 6:30 p.m.

According to her death certificate, the four-year-old girl died of a crushed chest.

The Fulton police Department conducted an investigation in conjunction with the State Police and the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department. A roadblock wasn’t set up until the next day and a police camera at the crime scene failed to operate.

However, witness statements led to the man who confessed last week to hitting Carolee and driving away.

Police reports from 1968 show that the man who confessed, Douglas Parkhurst, reportedly had been investigated and despite the evidence against him, he was not charged.

A report dated Nov. 2, 1968 has the name of the suspect redacted, however, the family of Carolee Ashby is sure it is the name of Parkhurst because new information corroborated the 1968 report.

The typewritten report states that the suspect’s mother told a friend that on the night the little girl was killed, her son had come home crying that he had hit a pole in the City of Fulton.

The police then contacted someone (the name was redacted), who said they were no relation to the suspect. About a half-hour later, however, the person called the station and said that the woman had a son 18 years of age who drives a brown Buick sedan.

The car that hit Carolee was a tan colored Buick sedan.

There is a handwritten note on the bottom of the report that states the it should be further checked.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

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