Tag Archives: Douglas Parkhurst

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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Carolee Ashby’s family to appeal to U.S. Attorney’s office

by Carol Thompson

The family of Carolee Sadie Ashby are hoping the U.S. Attorney’s office will give them an audience to hear their story and determine if criminal charges can be filed against the person who confessed to the hit-and-run death of the four-year-old.

Carolee’s mother, Marlene Ashby, along with family members, met with a private attorney Wednesday to learn their options.

It’s hard for the family to accept that there will be no repercussions for 63-year-old Douglas Parkhurst, who recently confessed to police to hitting Carolee on Halloween night in 1968 as she crossed South Second Street in Fulton with her sister Darlene.

The family learned that there could be an option for criminal charges through the U.S. Attorney’s office. Their lawyer discussed a possible loophole in the law, although the family said they were instructed not to speak about it.

The family is also having the laws of 1968 thoroughly researched. Police told the family that Parkhurst can only be charged with laws that were on the books at that time and that those that were are long past the statue of limitations. They are searching to determine if there were any laws in 1968 that could be applied today.

Parkhurst’s confession led police to the car that hit Carolee. It had been hidden behind a house in the Town of New Haven area, covered with brush.

At the time Carolee was hit, with no knowledge of the driver’s identity, the family paid for Carolee’s burial expenses, in part with a partial payment received from their own insurance company.

Because the case was open, the Ashby’s insurance would not pay in full.

With the case now closed, the Ashby’s may now be eligible to collect the money that the insurance company wouldn’t pay in 1968.

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.