Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex in the Suburbs: The Death of Ashley Burg

'Purely for Companionship'

Exactly what happened at David Downey's home that night remains a mystery. Downey would later tell the police that Ashley had overindulged in cocaine and that as a result she was shaking so badly, she needed help to light her cigarettes. He also said that he had advised her not to take any more coke.

David Downey
David Downey

As for sex, Downey's attorney, Thomas C. Egan III, maintained that his client hired escorts "purely for companionship." However, Christine Shute told authorities that during the times that she had been with Downey, they would typically get high on cocaine, and she would dance for him and give him oral sex.

At 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, roughly three hours after Ashley had been left with Downey, Derrick Schrandt returned to Downey's home to sell him more cocaine. Schrandt looked in on Ashley and felt that she "didn't look good," as he later testified at a grand jury hearing.

At 7:00 a.m., Downey tried to wake her. She moaned and asked if she could "just stay." Downey covered her with a purple sheet and let her sleep, he later told police. He also said that he checked on her throughout the day.

At 10:00 a.m., that morning, Kim Victorine received a phone call from Downey, who complained that Ashley had fallen asleep an hour after she had arrived. He said that Ashley was now "breathing but not alert." According to Victorine's statement to the police, Downey asked her "to get this girl out of my house."


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