OLATHE, Kan.— Olathe police are working to solve the homicide case of a young pregnant woman killed on the same day she would have learned whether she was having a boy or a girl.
Friends describe Ashley Harlan, 23, as a loving and caring person.
“Ashley Harlan is a beautiful soul and her life was taken shortly,” Amber Crawford, one of Harlan’s friends, said.
Olathe police found Harlan dead inside her grandfather’s townhouse on the 1200 block of East Westerfield Place Tuesday afternoon.
“A part of me didn’t want to believe that it was true,” Crawford said.
Word of the grim discovery spread quickly to Manhattan, Kansas, where Harlan had recently lived and where she befriended Crawford.
“I’ll always look up to her as a role model because she’s been through a lot as a child and she didn’t let it define who she was,” Crawford said.
Crawford told 41 Action News Thursday Harlan grew up in a foster home at an early age after her mother died.
“She had a rough life. She did, but she came to Manhattan, she turned it all around and she was doing excellent. She was doing amazing,” Crawford said.
About a month ago Harlan, who was five months pregnant, moved in with her grandfather to be closer to the baby’s father.
On Tuesday she never made it to the ultrasound appointment that would have revealed her child’s sex.
“I can’t even think of one thing that would make someone want to hurt her that bad to end her life,” Crawford said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Olathe police remained at the crime scene.
Although police are tracking down leads they have so far in the case, they still encourage anyone who may have additional information to come forward and contact them or the TIPS Hotline (816) 474-TIPS (8477).