Planning a wedding with a future husband is something that a girl dreams of her whole life. But choosing the wrong partner can turn the bliss into a nightmare. Ashley Reeves fell madly in love with her high school teacher, Sam Shelton, and was planning their wedding before she got into a devastating, life-threatening moment. Reeves’ soon-to-be husband, Shelton, attempted murder and dumped her mercilessly to be dead.
Sam Shelton and Ashley Reeves’ attempted murder incident
On 27th April 2006, Ashley Reeves’ parents filed a missing report after she failed to come in contact by 10 p.m. Reeves was last seen at around 3:30 in the afternoon leaving home, saying she had a job interview that day and would go to play basketball with friends after that. Reeves asked her boyfriend, Jeremy, if he could lend his SUV for the day. Without a doubt, he lent his car and Reeves went her way.
In the first phase, the police discovered the SUV eight hours later at midnight at a local park in Belleville, but Ashely was nowhere to be found. The next day police began an investigation, taking Shelton as a minor lead.
During interrogation, Sam initially denied knowing of Ashley’s condition. The teacher constantly changed his storyline: initially, he admitted he and Ashley developed a good friendship. However, after 12 hours of interrogation, he later admitted to having a romantic affair with the minor.
Shelton confessed that he tried to end their scandalous affair that day. But after she denied it, he became violent. He tried to get her out of his car by placing her in a chokehold. While pulling her out, he heard a loud snap of breaking her neck. In a panic, he dragged her body into a heavily wooded area, where he choked her a second time with a belt to make the scene look like it occurred there.
The police found Ashley Reeves in the dark, lying helplessly in the damp for 30 hours in the Citizen’s Park in Belleville, where she was left to die. Initially, police thought Reeves had already died until one of the police noticed that she was breathing. Her entire body was paralyzed, covered viciously with insect bites.
She was rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. Looking at her devastating condition, no one believed she would survive.
After the incident, the Reeves family protects Ashley’s privacy. They provided minimal information to the media concerning Reeves’ well being.
Who Is Ashley Reeves?
Ashley Reeves came to public notice after going through a merciless incident that shook the international headlines in 2006. Her horrific life story was later adapted by the movie: Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story, released in 2021. Her role was portrayed by the Canadian actress, Anwen O’Driscoll. The movie shows her fight for her life three times; first in the woods, then in the hospital, and finally in court.
The real-life documentary shows Ashley Reeves was a normal high school girl living happily with her parents and siblings.
Also, she had a boyfriend named Jeremy, whom she had been dating for two years.
As reported, Ashley Reeves is married and blessed with two children. However, she chose to live an intimate life, far away from the public’s concern. Also, the end credits of the movie, Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story, disclose that she’s raising her family in Illinois. She works as a caregiver, as per the movie.
Who Is Sam Shelton?
Sam Shelton, 26 at the time, was an aspiring wrestler and a popular teacher who was loved by every student. He has remained a gym teacher and coach at Ashley’s previous middle school while she was in 7th grade.
Sam resided near the middle school in the Wildwood Lake Estates with his mother and grandmother. He was considered a valued member of the community. He was seen helping with chores for his mother and grandmother.
Police conducted an interrogation of Sam as a suspect following the missing case. When police asked him his whereabouts, he did not mention a single meeting with Ashley. He went on telling his daily routine and plus added he went out to a bar Friday night to do some line dancing.
When did Sam Shelton and Ashley Reeves Begin Dating?
Sam and Ashley connected back together in February 2006, two months before the incident. She was a junior high school student at Columbia High School, aged seventeen.
Her affair with Sam was kept secret from everyone except one of her closest friends. Ashley’s friend said that they would hang out outside of school at the park and play basketball.
However, their intimate relationship did not last long and turned out to be nothing but a lifetime of torment for both.
Ashley Reeves Statement After The Incident
A decade after the incident in 2017, Ashley Reeve appeared in an episode of the Crime Watch Daily, talking about the incident with abduction survivor and ABC news commentator Elizabeth Smart.
Reeves stated she had a fight with Sam Shelton after the breakup, and it was the only memory she has before the life-threatening incident. She suffered traumatic brain injuries, which led her to re-learn basic things in life. She almost forgot how to speak, eat, walk, and move her limbs.
Reeves visited the scene of her rescue. She stated, “
It’s kind of hard to believe that this is actually where I was for that long and in that condition, It makes me feel like maybe I am as tough as everybody says I am. I’m a fighter, and I just keep wanting to push myself harder and harder.”
Also, Reeves revealed she finds it hard to watch recordings of Shelton’s interrogation. She had only watched about a minute and thirty seconds and couldn’t stand it.
You may also like:
Where is Sam Shelton?
Following the incident, Sam Shelton was charged with two cases of attempted first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
As reported, Sam Shelton will become eligible for parole in 2024.