Ashley Reeves was a friendly seventeen years high school girl who was enjoying her high school life to the fullest. She was a popular student and enjoyed playing basketball.
One day she was deceived by her own teacher, who left her dying in the woods. This one night changed the course of her life as Ashely survived her own murder.
Want to know how? Read this article to know the truth.
Ashley Reeves Bio
Like all normal teens, Ashley Reeves was a smart student who was loved by her friends and family due to her kind nature. She was the eldest daughter of Michelle and Michael.
She, along with her parents and younger sister Casey Reeves, lives in Millstadt, Illinois. In high school, she had a boyfriend named Jeremy, and they both loved spending time together.
Ashley’s parents prohibited her from coming home after ten o’clock, and she followed this rule strictly.
Samson Shelton Bio
Samson Shelton was a gym coach and a pro wrestler who worked in Ashley’s school. He was unmarried and lived with her mother and grandma.
Ashely was a basketball player, and he used to help her to improve her basketball skills.
Sam Shelton used tricks to charm Ashley, and she started meeting him secretly as it was inappropriate for the teacher to have any relationship with a student.
Ashley and Sam Fight
Ashely and his teacher met two months before her disappearance and started meeting with each other. They become involved in a physical relationship with time.
Sam realized that this was a mistake, and he would lose his job if anyone found out about their relationship, so he wanted to end things with Ashley.
The Gruesome Nightmare of Ashley Reeves Life
Ashley was hiding this relationship from her parents and her boyfriend. On April 27, 200, Ashely needed to go for an interview which was 15 miles away from her home, and after that, she had to go for basketball practice.
As by Fashionuer, she borrowed her boyfriend Jeremy’s car and also informed her parents about her schedule.
When Ashley didn’t come home after 10 pm, the parents became concerned and called her, but to their surprise, she didn’t answer. Her mother called all of her friends, and they didn’t know about her.
In a panic, Michelle Reeves, Ashley’s mother, called the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office. The police at first thought that this was a normal case because many teens spend the night out of their parent’s homes without telling them.
As Ashely was a minor, her phone was registered in her mother’s name, so Michelle contacted the cell service company and requested Ashley’s phone record.
While going through, she found the number of Samson Shelton. She contacted him, and he introduced himself as Ashely’s teacher. He was nice on the phone, and there was nothing suspicious about him.
The police started investigating to find anything that could lead to Ashley. The police found Jeremy’s car abandoned in Laderman Park, 15 minutes away from Ashley’s home and all of her belongings, including her sportswear, were in the car.
The police now started questioning her friends, and they also interrogated her boyfriend Jeremy.
Upon further investigation, they found that Samson was the one who talked to her the last time. Upon asking, he clarified very cooperatively that he hadn’t seen Ashley in a while.
He also explained how he had a purely platonic relationship with her. The police sensed something fishy in his story, and he was kept in police custody for a night.
Sam, when asked again about Ashley, completely changed his story, which surprised the police. So, the police patiently started discussing his relationship with Ashley and also asked questions about his family.
Slowly one police officer gained the trust of Sam, and he unravelled the truth behind Ashley Reeves’s disappearance. Samson confessed to driving Ashley when they both got into an argument.
Samson wanted to break up with Ashley, but she frowned and started yelling at him. It took a toll on Samson’s patience, and he asked her to get out of the car, but she resisted, to which Samson got her into a wrestling chokehold.
It made her neck pop, and she went limp. Not knowing what to do made Samson terrified. He decided to portray the situation as if Ashley was strangled in the woods. He dragged her out into the dense woods.
Ashley was unconscious but still breathing, which made Samson strangle her again with his belt this time.
He didn’t let go of it until he heard her gurgle. He then saw foam-like mucus protruding out of her mouth. For the last time, he used his foot as leverage to tighten the hold of the belt and choke her as hard as he could until the belt finally broke.
When he sensed no movement in her body or changes in facial expression, he left her to die in the pits of the woods while heavy clouds surrounded her.
Discovery of Ashley’s Body
After hearing this whole story, the police took Samson to their car so that he could identify the place where he hid her body.
The detectives headed into the woods to get a lead on Ashley Reeves’s body. A whole day had already passed, with continuous rain all night, making it further difficult to find her body.
It was dark and cold, but the distraught detectives dug for Ashley’s body all around the park. On not getting any hint of Ashley, at one point, the detectives thought it might just be another made-up story by Samson.
However, it was only after about 30 minutes that the detectives saw a glimpse of a body lying on the ground, disguised in layers of mud and bitten by insect bites. On scrutinising the body, it showed a little movement.
Her hands moved and her chest rose. Ashley was alive and breathing, it was no less than a miracle despite being strangled to death thrice and left in the woods for 30 hours.
The emergency personnel reached to save Ashley. The paramedics there exclaimed how they didn’t think she would make it out of the woods alive.
Ashley was placed in a coma and the diagnosis didn’t turn out well either. She had a severe cold and marks depicting how she was strangled. She was barely breathing.
Arrest of Samson
On the other hand, Samson barely had any injury marks over his body. He was arrested for a first-degree murder attempt.
Sam was granted bail and placed under house arrest by a court. In the course of his awaiting trial, Sam tried to attempt suicide by consuming pills and alcohol.
His mother called emergency and he was rushed to hospital. He wrote ‘do not resuscitate’ on the chest, but the EMTs team tried hard to revive him.
When he woke, he was angry and insulted a nurse who was on duty by saying racial comments and kicking her in the face.
Due to his condition, the court judge ordered an evaluation of Sam’s mental state, but the prosecutor argued that Sam was doing all that just to get sympathy from jurors.
However, a detailed analysis confirmed that Sam was faking his condition, and the court sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
In April 2024, Sam will be eligible for parole.
Ashley Condition After Coma
When Ashley came out of the coma, she was unaware of the situation as she lost her memory of the night. When her family asked about that day, she only said that she got into a fight with her teacher Sam.
Meanwhile, she had to relearn to walk, talk, and eat due to her condition.
It was a difficult time for parents because both had jobs and took leaves from jobs to take care of their daughter properly.
While talking to Belleville News-Democrat, Ashley Reeves’s mother said,
I was surprised as anyone that this happened. I did not think that he was the kind of person to do something like this.” Then, speaking about attending his bond hearing. I think I cracked a tooth. I was clenching my jaw so hard.bnd.com
Where is Ashley Reeves Now?
Today Ashley Reeves is 32 years old and lives in Belleville, Illinois, United States, where she is raising a family of three, including 2 of her children. Now she works as a caregiver.
Crime Watch Daily, a famous Crime show, recorded an interview of Ashley Reeves in 2017. In this interview, she visited the place where his teacher Sam tried to kill her and hid her body.
She also shared her thoughts and said,
It’s kinda hard to believe that this is actually where I was for that long and in that condition,” Ashley said. “[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.
Further saying that,
They had to retrain me how to eat and how to drink. I remember my first drink of water, and it was amazing.True Crime Daily
Left for dead: Ashley Reeves Story
Today Ashley Reeves is a living story of strength and optimism. The movie ‘Left for dead: Ashley Reeves story ‘was released in 2021, to portray her resilience after a brutal attack in woods. It is directed by Gloria Kim and produced by Jeff Vander Wal.