Ashley Summers would now be 20. She was 14 when she disappeared on July 9, 2007, from Cleveland, Ohio. According to her aunt, the girl, who was not the type to simply leave and never come back, vanished not far from the house of Ariel Castro, recently arrested after three women were found captive, having been brutalized in his home for a decade. Castro’s house is also very near to Ashley’s home on the west side of Cleveland. According to her case profile on 411Gina.Org, she packed before leaving, took her stuff and called her mother a month later to say that she was okay and not to worry.
Later in 2007, a relative reported seeing Ashley on Cleveland’s West 44th street, with her hair cut short and dyed blond. Since then no one has seen or heard from Ashley Summers. Police consider her a run away, but her family does not. It is most likely because of her family’s persistence that Ashley’s Case is still getting attention. Police released an age-progressed photo of Ashley Summers in 2011; she would have been 18. Ashley is described as about 5’5″, weighting about 130 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. She has the name “Gene” and a heart tattooed on her right arm.
After victim Michele Knight, missing since August 2, 2002, was removed from Castro’s house early this May, all previous assumptions about young girls missing from Cleveland were pretty much thrown out. Neither Michele’s family not the police were looking for her; there were no profiles of her case on any websites, not photos or flyers, no candlelight vigils on TV. As far her family was concerned she ran away in a huff after losing custody of her child. Only her mother would return to the old neighborhood from Florida periodically to hand out flyers and asking if anyone had seen her daughter. Police considered Michele a run away and had in no way connected her to either the Berry or DeJesus case. Knight’s brother, Freddie, with whom she is in contact, says that she is developmentally disabled and was also physically abused, as he was, by her uncle. Knight was by far the most tortured and abused of the three captives, and there are reports now that she now wants nothing to do with the family that was so willing to write her off.
In 2007 police considered the possibility of a connection between Ashley’s case and those of then-missing children Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus. On May 8, 2013, however, after interviewing Berry, DeJesus and Knight, Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba announced that investigators were unable to discover a connection with Ashley Summers’ case. though she does bare a striking resemblance to DeJesus and Berry as seen in these photo comparisons at right.
The question of other Castro victims however, remains an open one. Michele Knight, the first of the three abducted, remembers another female captive in the home when she first arrived. She reportedly told investigators that one morning the woman was gone. Knight does not know her name or what ever became of her. Also the letters R.I.P for “rest in peace” were found along with a woman’s name scrawled on the wall in Castro’s basement. None of the three women knows who wrote those words, or to whom they may have been referring.
Chillingly there are at least two more unresolved cases of missing women from Cleveland that are getting attention, Christina Adkins, who was 19 when she disappeared from Cleveland on January 12, 1995. She was five months pregnant. She is described as is 5’6″ or 5’7″ tall, 110-127 pounds, with blond hair and brown eyes.
Also missing from Cleveland is Miranda Jones, 16, who disappeared on November 16, 2012. She may have been in the company of an adult male, with her hair dyed black, using the name Rogers, according to her profile on with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She has tattoos on her left arm from her wrist to her elbow. Though she is considered an endangered runaway, the Cleveland Police’s website does not list her as missing. She is about 5’4″, weighing about 139 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information about these cases is urged to contact the Cleveland Police Department: 216-664-4477, or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.