Ashley Young’s tragic and unimaginable death has left her family and millions of others utterly bewildered and heartbroken. Young was a bright, delightful young woman whose life was unjustly stolen at the age of thirty-one.
According to the Mirror, she lived a quiet life in Kalamazoo, Michigan, working in a call center attached to a bank and enrolled in college to create a better future for herself. Before her job at the bank, she worked in a nursing home helping individuals with special needs, which sheds a lot of light on what a caring, patient and thoughtful person she really was.
Days before her senseless murder, she was preparing to co-sign the papers with her mother for a new apartment. She was most likely very excited to enter a new chapter in her life with a new place to live. Unfortunately, she never got the chance to get that far.
According to The Daily Mail, Young was last seen at a bar in Grand Rapids with a man she thought was a friend. His name? Jared Chance. When Young didn’t show up to meet with her mother on November 29, 2018 to sign the paperwork for her new apartment, her mother, Kristine Young, sensed something was wrong.
She contacted Chance to ask about her missing daughter, who left this message on voicemail: “Hi, Jared. My name is Kristine Young. I’m looking for my daughter. She was with you for the last time. is he with you He has to contact me. Tell her I’m contacting the police department as a missing person.”
Instead of immediately calming down, Chance proceeded to assign Kristine fake phone numbers to call along with a fake story where he had just talked to Ashley and she was alive and well. Kristine knew better.
She tried to file a missing person’s report but was initially denied because not enough time had passed to open a case. She did what any concerned mother would do and tracked down clues, tips and evidence as to where her daughter might have gone without the help of the police. She eventually managed to get surveillance footage of Ashley and Chance at the bar the night Ashley went missing.
Six days later, Ashley’s torso was discovered in Chance’s rental home. While her hands and feet have also been discovered, her head, hands and feet are still nowhere to be found.
Chance’s parents, James and Barbara, ended up becoming hysterical as they decided not to turn their son in after they found out what he had done. They kept their mouths shut and were sentenced to forty-five days in jail plus a year of probation and house arrest.
The road to recovery
On October 10, 2019, Chance was sentenced by Judge Mark Trusock to 100 to 200 years in prison. His parole eligibility will not exist until he is 130 years old. When Young’s family and loved ones heard the official verdict, they erupted in cheers, knowing they were getting justice for the horrific and inexplicable death of such a beautifully dazzling soul.
The road to recovery will be long for Ashley’s family. . . especially for her mother Kristine. Holding a box of Ashley’s cremated ashes outside the courtroom during Chance’s trial, she said, “This is what’s left of my daughter. If I want to hug, I have to hug the box and close my eyes and pretend it hugs me back. Because you decided to kill her. Because you decided to cut her.” (WWMT.)
Some very real questions remain – starting with motive. Why exactly did Chance decide to take Young’s life? The shots of the two together at the bar leave no room for interpretation of a conversation gone wrong or any kind of argument between them.
Second, although Chance was charged with second degree murder, was the violent act something that actually happened in the moment, or was it something he had planned before it all went wrong?
And finally, how exactly did Chance kill her? Parts of her body were discovered, but the cause of death could not be determined without her neck and head, according to the Holland Sentinel. Until the rest of her body is discovered, the cause of her death remains an unsolved mystery. Hopefully knowing her killer is rotting behind bars gives her family a sense of peace with such firm and uncompromising justice.