By Charlotte Prong Parkhill
Kitchener Post staff
After being missing for more than three weeks, 15-year-old Kitchener teen Ashley Downs was located on Wednesday.
But the disturbing disovery of a female torso in a downtown Kitchener neighbourhood last Saturday meant some extremely anxious days for her family.
When Jennifer Downs opened her door to homicide detectives on Sunday, she thought her worst imaginings had come true.
Downs’ daugther was last seen at the bus terminal on Jan. 5. The detectives asked Downs whether Ashley had returned home, and if she had a shirt that read “Forget Princess, I want to be a vampire.”
Downs didn’t know, but said if they had a body, she would come and look at it. Police said no.
Downs’ story illustrates the hope and fear of people with a missing family member any time a body is found.
“The lack of information in the beginning — to have homicide just show up at your house and not give you any information but ask about your missing child is pretty scary,” Downs said.
“Torture. It was absolute torture,” she said.
Detectives told her they didn’t believe the body was her daughter, but took a blood sample from her just in case.
Now, the body has been identified as that of Kelsey Felker, 24, of Kitchener.
What is bad news for one family brought Downs some measure of relief. It also helped to bring awareness to her plight.
She reported Ashley missing on Jan. 9, but it wasn’t until after Felker’s body was found that she went public with Ashley’s story.
Police say Ashley has been located and is safe.