On October 5, 2009 a 19-year-old girl named Ashleigh Love was murdered execution style in her bed while her family slept. Ashleigh lived with her parents, Joe and Tammy, and her two younger brothers in her family home in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI. She had recently graduated from her Catholic high school with honors and was working full-time at a local food court Arby’s while taking a gap year.
Monday, October 5 was a normal day for the Love family. Ashleigh worked and then came home to watch the Green Bay Packers play the Minnesota Vikings with her family. After the game she showered and went to bed. No one thought there was anything unusual about how she acted that day. No one had seen anyone strange around the home. The family had no known enemies or shady business dealings.
At 1:55am an intruder wearing a bandana mask found their way to Ashleigh’s room on the second floor. She was shot in the face from a point blank range. Downstairs, Tammy Love jolted awake in bed, she believes she woke up due to hearing the gunshot.
At 2am, Tammy Love opened her bedroom door and found an intruder with a gun staring back at her. She screamed for her husband and the intruder ran off, leaving the house. Tammy asked Joe to go check on Ashleigh and they discovered that she was dead. Tammy believes she also saw a second person outside and that there were two intruders at the home that night. She describes the intruder she saw outside her bedroom as a 20-year-old man with black eyes, black spikey hair and black clothing.
There was no burglary in the Love home and no other member of the family saw or heard anything. Police believe Ashleigh was the intended target of the crime, however, the Love family is bewildered about who could have wanted to hurt Ashleigh. Police interviewed every one of Ashleigh’s friends and searched through her social media. They could not find anyone who looked like the man her mother described or any information about someone who might want to hurt Ashleigh. There are literally no suspects.
The current theory is that Ashleigh had a secret friend or boyfriend she had not told her friends and family about for an unknown reason and for another unknown reason he murdered her. She was seen a few times with a man her friends didn’t know. He is believed to drive a blue pick-up truck and work in construction. At least one of Ashleigh’s friends is unsure this theory could be true because Ashleigh was “too honest” to be seeing someone in secret.
The Love family holds an annual vigil for Ashleigh in their town. Tammy Love has hired a private detective and continues to ask for information about her daughter’s killer: “Someone somewhere knows something. We are begging them to come forward. This has left our family heartbroken and devastated. We feel like we are in hell, and we can’t climb out.” Ashleigh Love’s case and its impact has been further investigated in the documentary Letters to Ashleigh and on the podcast Love & Justice.