Ashmore was living in a mobile home on her family’s property in Jonesville, South Carolina, when she disappeared, according to her mother Angel Ashmore, NBC reported.
Angel said that around lunchtime on May 19, Ashmore left home when her half-brother and some other family members were there too, without saying when she would return.
“She and her half-brother had a disagreement in the driveway. She took a right out of the driveway and left on foot, saying she was going for a walk,” Major John Sherfield, the investigator from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, told NBC.
The road Ashmore walked along is a rural, country road with few houses. Without taking her cell phone or any money, the family thought Ashmore was just going on a walk and would be back soon. It’s also unclear whether Ashmore took her inhaler at the time. She suffers from severe asthma.
It wasn’t until more than 48 hours after Jessica was last seen that Angel became concerned.
“My son called me and asked me if Jessica had come by here, the day after she went walking, because she hadn’t shown back up over there, at the mobile home. And I said no, she hadn’t been by here,” Angel told NBC. She called Ashmore’s phone, but failed to get an answer.
Angel didn’t get any reply on Ashmore’s social media, either.
“Even if Jessica don’t have a working cell phone, she’d always have Facebook Messenger and I could shoot her a message through that and she’d contact me right back.
“But she wasn’t contacting me back. And I sent message after message after message and I wasn’t getting anything,” Angel told the news network.
On May 25, Union County Sheriff’s Office got the call reporting the young mother as missing.
“That’s when I got [the case] and I’ve been working it ever since,” said Investigator Scott Coffer from the Sheriff’s Office. “We was already seven days behind the eight ball.
“We spoke to family members, her boyfriend, and close friends all on that Saturday night, but nothing turned up there,” Coffer told NBC.
Angel and other family members started searching for Ashmore that weekend as well.
“I was ready to get on it right then. So we started making up fliers and handing them out,” Angel told NBC.
Coffer said they checked a couple of cameras up the road but didn’t see Ashmore. “We were looking for, of course, any evidence that would link us to her. But we did not find anything.”
Jessica’s case is now being treated as a missing persons investigation, although doubts had been raised by Angel.
“People don’t just vanish into thin air without somebody knowing their whereabouts,” she told the news outlet.
Investigators have interviewed many people, yet nothing solid has been found. “We don’t know if foul play is involved. We certainly hope not,” said Major John Sherfield of the Sheriff’s Office. “But we are treating it as such, just in case.”
However, Coffer said that there may be a possible informant of the case, according to NBC.
“There is one person that we are kind of watching, I guess you could say. There is a person that we feel like could have information, who just hasn’t told us it yet,” he said.
Ashmore is the mother of a 17-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. Her son already knows that his mother is missing, Angel told NBC.
“He has been trying to be strong. He tries to put on a brave face, but he’s kind of crumbling under the pressure.
“[Her daughter] London, she’s five—I’ve tried to shelter her and try to keep her out of conversations I’ve had until we know what’s going on,” Angel said.
Major Sherfield has asked for help from the public.
“Any information is valuable to us,” he said.
Jessica Ashmore is 5’5” tall and weighs about 145 lbs. She has brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with related information is asked to call the Union County Public Safety at 864-429-1713. You can also contact Crime Stoppers by submitting a tip on http://www.p3tips.com or by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC.