Woman’s murder remains mystery after body found at South Nashville trash facility

Special Reports

It’s one of the most gruesome cases detectives have worked, a young woman found dead in the trash days after friends reported her missing

It’s been just over a year-and-a-half since Ashley Brown went missing from a friend’s Park Central apartment near Centennial Park.  

“She was last seen walking out of the apartment, and next thing we know she was found in the garbage,” Detective Filter with the MNPD Homicide Cold Case Unit said.  

After a night out on the town, Ashley stepped outside of the apartment and that was the last time she was seen alive.  

“She stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and the wrong person came around,” Detective Filter explained.  

Investigators said one would assume it was a possible robbery or sexual assault, but they still don’t have a motive.  

However, they do know Ashley’s death was brutal. An autopsy report showed she was killed by multiple blunt force injuries and strangulation.  

MORE: Ashley Brown’s family speaks after daughter’s murder ruled homicide

Police believe her body was then tossed in the garbage near the apartments and later picked up by a garbage truck with a trash compactor.  

“There were several injuries, some of them were prior to her death, and then some of them were caused by the garbage compactor along with the garbage truck and other heavy equipment used to move the garbage around,” said Filter.  

The news left a number of questions for Ashley’s family.  

“With everything that’s happened to her, it’s hard to believe, it’s hard to accept the fact that nobody heard anything. Somebody had to have heard something,” said Ashley’s stepmother, Amy Brown. 

While it’s been over a year since that cold December morning, the heartache doesn’t get any easier.

“It’s hard to smile through the pain. You can say our lives have forever been changed and altered,” Ashley’s father, Trevor Brown, said.   

Now both family and detectives are worried that someone so cold hearted is still on the streets. 

“It’s definitely troubling that you have somebody that’s that cold-blooded that would just, you know, randomly pick a person and, you know, beat them to death and then throw them in a garbage. If they are willing to do it this one time they are very likely to do it again, and so it’s a little unsettling knowing that a person like that is out there,” said Filter.  

Ashley’s purse was still inside her friend’s apartment and her car still parked in the garage.  

She had only been in Nashville for about a month working as a surgical technician. 

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