Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex in the Suburbs: The Death of Ashley Burg

Troubled Teenager

Investigators would soon find out that 17-year-old Ashley Burg was a troubled teenager.  Her mother, Michelle Reeves, was a recovering drug addict, and her father, Curtis Burg, worked long, irregular hours that prevented him from being the kind of parent he wanted to be.  That's why he had arranged for Ashley to move out of his estranged wife's apartment in Philadelphia to his sister's suburban home in Willingboro, New Jersey when Ashley was in seventh grade.

It wasn't an easy transition for Ashley.  "She was a little confused when she had first come to us," Janice Guarino, one of her former teachers at St. Peter's School in Riverside, New Jersey, told the Philadelphia Daily News.  "She wasn't real happy she had to leave her friends." 

But Ashley was determined to turn her life around.  She eventually enrolled at the Burlington County Institute of Technology and was excelling in her computer classes.  Her goal was to graduate and get a job that earned enough money so that she'd be qualified to adopt her three younger half-siblings, who were living in a foster home.

Ashley Burg
Ashley Burg

However, Ashley was unwilling to give up her Philadelphia friends completely, so she had made a deal with her father:  she would live in the suburbs with her aunt and uncle and stick to her studies if she could spend the weekends in Philadelphia with her best friend, 16-year-old DeeDee Conn.

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