Jessica Ashmore: Mother of Two Missing From Jonesville, SC
Mother of two Jessica Ashmore was last seen at her home in Jonesville, South Carolina, on May 19, 2019.
At the time of her disappearance, Jessica, 34, had been living in a mobile home on family property located on Jefferies Farm Road. According to the police, she was at the property at about lunchtime with her half-brother and several other family members.
“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,” said Major John Sherfield of the Union County Sheriff’s Office. “She didn’t specify how long she would leave for,” Sherfield told Dateline.
A Rural Country Road
The road Jessica would have walked along is a rural country road with only a few houses scattered. A relatively safe town, Jonesville was established in 1770, with a population of less than a thousand people. It’s a beautiful forested place of history where plantations were many, and much has stayed the same.
Jonesville is known for its history and the Means House, a historic property with unrestored Georgian architecture that sits on an isolated 20 acres in Union County. The land is largely untouched since the 1800s. People don’t go missing here in Jonesville.
According to investigators, Jessica didn’t take any money with her, and her cell phone and asthma inhaler were also left at the home. Jessica's mother Angel Ashmore told police that her daughter would have never left without her medication.
“My son called me and asked me if Jessica had come by here, the day after she went walking because she had shown back up over there, at the mobile home. And I said no, she hadn’t been by here,” Angel told Dateline about the call she had received the day following her disappearance. “At that point, I wasn’t concerned because I just figured she was at a friend’s house and she hadn’t gone far.”
More than 48 hours later, Angel received another call saying Jessica was still not home. At that point, she called Jessica’s phone and nobody answered.
Angel said if Jessica’s phone wasn’t working, she would still have access to Messenger and always contacted her mother back right away. “But she wasn’t contacting me back. And I sent message after message and I wasn’t getting anything,” said Angel.
It wasn't until Saturday, May 25, when Angel called the Union County Sheriff’s Office to report her daughter missing. “That’s when I got [the case] and I’ve been working it ever since,” Investigator Coffer said. “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.”
Once Jessica’s mother made a missing person report and police were involved, Jessica’s mother and family also began making fliers, handing them out and searching the area for Jessica.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted searches of the road and densely wooded forests. “There were a couple of cameras at a house up the road. We checked those and didn’t see her [walking along the road], Investigator Coffer told Dateline. “But there was another road she could’ve cut down before she got there – and there were no video cameras on that road.”
Police are handling the case as a missing person case and potential homicide.
“We don’t know if foul play is involved. We certainly hope not,” Major John Sherfield told NBC. “But we are treating it as such, just in case.”
As Union County Sheriff David Taylor sits with two large notebooks on his desk, he vows not to give up, but the truth is, this case has baffled everyone. “Just like an unsolved murder, just because you get to a place where you’re not getting information, you still have to keep digging,” said the Sheriff.
A Mother's Desperate Search
Jessica’s mother Angel continues to hold onto hope in the aftermath of her daughter’s disappearance. From the beginning, Angel has pleaded to the public and continued to put out fliers of her daughter, vowing to continue until she knows what happened to her daughter.
Angel and her mother are close. Angel describes her daughter as beautiful, loving and funny and says her daughter’s most wonderful accomplishments are her children: Gage, 17, and London, 5.
Angel told NBC, that her grandson knows his mother is missing and trying to put on a brave face. London, Jessica’s daughter, has been sheltered from the conversation until Angel knows what is going on. Jessica has been missing for more than 200 days. “It actually feels like it has been 200 years, I don’t feel like it’s been 200 days,” Angel told 7 News on December 5, “It feels like a lifetime.”
Angel told the reporter she looks up at the stars every evening wondering if her child has eaten, is cold, or dead. Either way, she can’t give up the search while there is hope that Angel may be out there somewhere. Meanwhile, Angel is unable to eat or sleep and her mind is consumed with reruns of what could have happened to her precious daughter.
For this grandmother, dealing with the painful ambiguity of not knowing where her own child is and the thought of her grandchildren spending Christmas without their mother is excruciating. For her grandchildren, only a Christmas Miracle will do.
“Getting up each morning and looking at the kids and them asking me ‘Is mom coming home today?’ And I don’t know, Angel said. She only has one Christmas wish. “I would like Jessica to walk through the door,” Angel said. “That would be my gift.”
If you may have information about Jessica Ashmore, please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 864-429-1611.
© 2019 Kym L Pasqualini