FLAGSTAFF — The search for missing persons 23 year old Ashley Darby and 35 year old Jeriah Hildwine came to a close on the afternoon of September 23 when they were located deceased approximately 1/3 mile from the parking lot of the Abineau/Bear Jaw Trailhead in a wooded area. Both appeared to have died from gunshot wounds; both appeared to have been deceased for several days.
Ashley Darby was reported missing by her father on September 3. Jeriah Hildwine was reported missing by his mother on September 8. They were reported to have been seen together at a lawyer’s office in Flagstaff, AZ on September 2. Friends and family were interviewed and attempt to locate information was given to area law enforcement agencies. Ashley and Jeriah as well as their vehicles were entered into the National Crime Information Center database as missing.
On September 19, 2015 Forest Service Fire Prevention Personnel located Ashley Darby’s vehicle in the parking lot of the Abineau/Bear Jaw Trailhead. Investigators found a note inside the vehicle indicating that the two intended to commit suicide. Search and Rescue personnel searched the parking lot and surrounding area that afternoon but were unable to locate either person or any further clues as to their whereabouts. Missing person fliers also were circulated as detectives continued to seek information to help locate them. Family members continued their own search in the Abineau/Bear Jaw area on September 22.
On September 23, Detectives and Search and Rescue teams, including two dog teams, returned to the Abineau/Bear Jaw area to continue search efforts. The bodies of both Ashley Darby and Jeriah Hildwine were located deceased in less than two hours of searching.
Further details are pending additional investigation and Medical Examiner review. Jeriah Hildwine also had been the subject of a recent sexual assault investigation.