Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Facebook Post Helps Solve Cold Case Hit and Run Murder of Carolee Ashby

A family photo of the victim, Carolee Saide Ashby

A family photo of the victim, Carolee Saide Ashby

FBI and police in Fulton, New York, solved a cold case hit-and-run murder because of a Facebook post. The post led to a tip that helped them identify the driver of a hit and run that killed Carolee Saide Ashby, 4, on Halloween night 45 years ago. Carolee was crossing the street with her older sister, 15, when she was struck and killed by a car that did not stop. Police were not able to identify the driver, until now.

A former resident of Fulton, who had retired to Florida, was reading a retired detective’s post about the case on Facebook, when she decided to contact police. She told them that after Carolee had been killed, the family of Douglas Parkhurst, now 62, had approached her and asked that she say that their 17-year-old was with her that night. The woman refused, assumed that it had something to do with the case of Carolee Ashby, but said that she never asked.

Douglas Parkhurst told police 45 years ago that he had been drinking and was driving when he thought he hit something with his 1962 tan Buick Special, but not a person, an animal perhaps he had told himself for years. At the time he swore it was a guardrail. Police found his story suspicious, but with over 2000 leads, never interviewed him again, and the case went cold.

Police re-interviewed Parkhurst again after receiving the tip. This time he confessed, saying that at the time he did not know what he hit, but now knows that it was Carolee Ashby.

Sadly, the statute of limitations has run out, so no charges will be filed. Of the situation Carolee’s mother Marlene said, “I don’t care to put them in jail, or I don’t hold any revenge. But I do hurt. I want them to say they’re sorry. I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened in so many years.”

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