Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex in the Suburbs: The Death of Ashley Burg

Consultations and Negotiations

Victorine reported the problem to her boyfriend, Derrick Schrandt, but they weren't sure how to handle the situation. Schrandt didn't want to get the police involved because he was already facing charges in another matter and was free on a $100,000 bail bond. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he threatened to kill anyone who called the authorities. Instead, he and Victorine consulted with Ashley's old boyfriend, David Tanczak, and asked him what they should do. Tanczak spoke to Downey directly to get an update on Ashley's condition, but it hadn't charged. Downey reported that she had passed out on the sofa and wasn't responsive. Downey had apparently left her on his sofa all day Sunday.

At 1:00 a.m. on Monday, August 1, Downey again tried to wake Ashley. At this point she had been at his house for almost 24 hours. Once again he called Kim Victorine and asked for help.

Two hours later Downey received a phone call from Christine Shute, the escort he had originally requested. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Shute demanded $10,000 to take care of the problem, but Downey refused to pay her that amount.

At 5:00 a.m., Shute and her boyfriend Michael Tees, 32, drove to Downey's suburban home and struck a deal with him. The couple agreed to take Ashley with them for $2,600. Downey later told the police that $2,000 of that sum was intended for Ashley's medical expenses; the balance was payment of a prior debt he owned to Shute. Downey claims that he instructed the couple to take Ashley to a nearby hospital. He also claims that Ashley was still alive when she left his home with Shute and Tees.

But Christine Shute told the police something different. Shute said that Ashley was already dead when she and Tees arrived at Downey's home.

 

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