A pregnant woman was found dead inside a home in Olathe, Kansas, on the day she was to learn the gender of her baby, authorities said. Police are now treating her death as a homicide.
Ashley Harlan, 23, was found dead by police around in the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 30 inside a house at the Westerfield Townhouses off East Westerfield Place, reported The Kansas City Star.
According to close friends, Harlan recently moved into her Olathe home to be closer to her baby’s father. She was living with her grandfather, who was out of town in Las Vegas when Harlan was killed.
Kaitlin Beeton, 22, and Tabitha Brown, 23—who were close friends of Harlan since grade school—said the 23-year-old had had a pretty hard life. Harlan entered the foster care system after her mom died when she was “very young,” Brown said.
Brown and Harlan had once lived together for a few months in the same foster home, according to the Star.
The young woman also struggled with a drug addiction after running away from her foster home, Brown said. She became clean with the help of her friends, and began working in Homestead Ministries, a Christian-based organization in Manhattan, Kentucky, that helps victims of sex trafficking.
“She had a hard time finding her way,” Brown told the Star.
Harlan’s goal was to become a social worker. She was attending classes at Kansas State University and had planned to start a new job in the coming weeks mentoring foster children.
Brown said she had planned to accompany Harlan to a scheduled ultrasound appointment that day but her friend never made it.
“I don’t know who would want to hurt her,” Brown told the Star. “She was the sweetest person I think I’ve ever known.”
Sgt. Logan Bonney, a spokesman with Olathe police, said no suspects have been identified. They also have not announced a cause of death, reported People, citing a police statement.
Police are now urging anyone with further information to come forward.
Those with information are encouraged to contact Olathe police at 913-971-6950 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.