Ashley Morris Mullis, 27, vanished without a trace from Royerton, Indiana on Thursday, September 19, 2013. Described as a loving and kind-hearted mother, no one believes that she would simply walk away from her three beautiful children. But why would anyone want to hurt Mullis or want her to disappear? This list of Ashley Morris Mullis facts sheds light on a missing persons case that surprisingly has very little documented evidence.
Ashley Morris Mullis Had Three Children
By all accounts, Mullis was a caring woman who loved her children. When she disappeared, she had two sons with Justin Mullis, a five-year-old and two-year-old, as well as a six-month-old daughter with Daniel York Sr.
|About Ashley Morris Mullis|
|Height||5 feet 6 inches|
|BORN||March 1, 1986|
|MISSING SINCE||September 19, 2013|
|LAST SEEN PLACE||Muncie, Indiana|
According to her father, Don Morris, Mullis loved crafts, antiquing, and refinishing furniture. She was also very outgoing and loved to fish and camp. Mullis “loved to do it all,” he said.
Born March 1, 1986, she’d be 32 years old now.
She Was Legally Separated from Her Husband
Around 2011, while Justin and Ashley Mullis were legally separated, his cousin took her to get some repair work done on her car.
There, Mullis met 60-year-old Daniel York Sr., the owner of the repair shop and a resident of Royerton, Indiana. Despite their age difference, the two hit it off and soon became involved.
York, who was already married, had a penchant for younger women. As is often the case in new relationships, York promised Mullis the world and that the two of them would move to Florida, buy a house, and build a family.
It would take a while though for their dreams to take flight since York was married. In the meantime, Mullis rented a property from him.
Apparently, York’s wife knew about his relationship with Mullis. And it doesn’t appear as though she asked her husband to stop seeing her.
In March 2013, Mullis and York welcomed a baby girl named Abigail.
A Warrant Was Issued for Ashley Morris Mullis’ Arrest
Justin and Ashley Mullis shared two dogs. An incident occurred where Mullis thought her estranged husband was looking after them while he believed that she was.
For some reason, Ashley Mullis was charged with neglect but was unaware, as she was in the process of moving. Not surprisingly, she didn’t show up for the hearing, and a warrant was issued for her arrest because she didn’t appear in court.
The authorities never located Mullis because she had already vanished. Neither her family nor investigators believe the warrant was in any way connected with her disappearance. It was a simple misunderstanding that would have easily been resolved.
She and Daniel York Sr. Were Last Seen Together on September 18, 2013
Ashley Morris Mullis, 27, was last seen by her family on September 17, 2013, at a family reunion. There was no indication that anything was wrong that day.
According to a source, she and Daniel York Sr. were seen together the following day at a business location they frequented. However, the source did not say what the business was or how often they went there. York went to the same location several times after this date but never with Mullis.
Mullis’ cousin-in-law claims that she last spoke to her on September 18, 2013.
Ashley Morris Mullis Disappeared on September 19, 2013
Mullis was last seen by a friend getting her nails done at Muncie Nail Salon in Muncie, Indiana on September 19, 2013. This was also the last day of any incoming and outgoing calls on her cell phone.
After that, Ashley Morris Mullis vanished into thin air.
Mullis stands five-foot-six and weighs 115 pounds, with brown eyes and long, dark hair. She also has two tattoos—“Ashton” on her upper left arm and a small butterfly on her right leg. The then-27-year-old was last seen wearing a v-neck shirt and jeans.
She Wasn’t Reported Missing for Weeks
There are many gaping holes surrounding Ashley Morris Mullis’ disappearance.
She was allegedly last seen by her boyfriend’s family on September 18, 2013, in Royerton, Indiana. And a friend claims to have seen Mullis on September 19, 2013, getting her nails done at Muncie Nail Salon in Muncie, Indiana. But for some reason that has never been confirmed.
Regardless, Mullis’ disappearance was not reported to police until October 10, 2013. In some circles, this has been chalked up to a miscommunication between the families.
The missing woman’s father, Don Morris, was contacted by Mullis’ estranged husband, stating he’d tried to contact her several times but was unable to reach her. Morris then attempted to contact his daughter himself, going so far as to leave a note on the door of her house.
After laying low for two weeks, Morris finally caught up with his daughter’s boyfriend, Daniel York Sr. He maintained that Mullis just up and left and that he didn’t know where she was.
Something didn’t sit right about that with Morris. There is no way Mullis would leave her children or disappear without telling someone in her family where she was going.
It was then that the police were contacted. But even that didn’t go according to plan, as the search for Mullis was further delayed thanks to miscommunication from law enforcement.
Morris said that it took several days to get direction on who should take the missing persons report—the city police or the county sheriff’s office. It seemed like it would be pretty straightforward, but it wasn’t.
According to Morris, he filed a missing persons report three times with the city police, but because it happened in Delaware County, they were told to file the paperwork with the county sheriff’s office. Meanwhile, county representatives kept sending the reports back to the police, and this went on for three days.
The missing persons paperwork then sat on a desk with the city police for five days and then at the county’s office for an additional five days. All of this can be backed up with electronic communication between the three parties.
Daniel York Sr.’s Cousin Was Sheriff
Daniel York Sr.’s cousin, Michael Scroggins, was Delaware County Sheriff at the time Ashley Morris Mullis disappeared. Although correlation does not imply causation, it appears York’s relationship with his cousin prevented him from thoroughly being investigated in Mullis’ disappearance.
By all accounts, this would appear to be a serious oversight since the police always and without question look at the victim’s spouse or partner. Mullis and York were dating when she vanished, and he was the father of her youngest child, Abigail.
Both Daniel York Sr. and his cousin, Michael Scroggins, have since died.
Was Ashley Morris Mullis Planning on Leaving Town?
There isn’t a lot of concrete, verifiable details on Ashley Morris Mullis’ disappearance. After she went missing, York was confronted by David Morris and investigators about Mullis’ whereabouts, but his story was full of holes and discrepancies.
When questioned by detectives, York said that Mullis took $15,000, signed her parental rights to Abigail over to him, and promptly left town. He then obtained a lawyer and would only speak to police if his attorney was present.
Daniel York Sr. was never fully investigated.
Mullis allegedly told other people she was going to leave town, too, but details on this claim have been difficult to verify. That said, withdrawing large sums of money and signing over her parental rights does seem to back up claims that Mullis was going to leave the area.
But according to Delaware County Police Detective Kurt Walthour, “it just doesn’t add up.”
The biggest issue with this theory is that Mullis wouldn’t leave her three other children behind.
York admitted that Mullis was an occasional drug user, and her parents said that she took prescription drugs. However, police don’t believe that drugs were a factor in her disappearance.
Did Someone Clear Out Her House on October 13, 2013?
On October 10, 2013, a missing persons report was officially filed for Ashley Morris Mullis. Three days later, on October 13, 2013, neighbors reported that a white box truck turned up at Mullis’ residence at 1812 East Delta Dr. at 1:30 a.m.
The occupants of the truck moved two loads out of Mullis’ house as if they knew she wouldn’t be coming back for them. They took one load from the garage and another from the side of the house.
Neighbors wrote down the license plate. Investigators confirmed that the truck was registered to Daniel York Sr.’s wife, Sheila York.
Morris believes that York Sr.’s son, Daniel York Jr., and his sister removed everything from his daughter’s house, including her body.
On November 15, 2013, law enforcement officers finally searched Ashley Morris Mullis’ home and discovered all her clothes and other items missing.
Other Interesting That Events Took Place after the Disappearance
Some other interesting events took place shortly after Mullis disappeared.
Firstly, her estranged husband, Justin Mullis, petitioned the courts for an emergency custody hearing and gained full custody of his two young sons. Five months after Ashley disappeared, he was granted a divorce.
Then, Daniel York Sr. and his wife Sheila moved to Sarasota, Florida, taking Abigail with them. This was permissible because Ashley Morris Mullis had apparently signed over parental rights to the Yorks.
Because there is no record online of the document, it is difficult to verify whether Mullis actually gave up her rights to her daughter or if her signature was forged.
Were There People Who Wanted Her to Disappear?
Don Morris said that there is a good reason why people might want his daughter to disappear.
He alleges there are connections between Mullis and residents of the community of Royerton and Delaware County, Indiana resulting from a potential malpractice suit she was bringing against a local physician.
When Mullis was a child, she had her adenoids (glands located in the roof of the mouth) removed. It is alleged that the physician in question administered too much anesthesia during the procedure, which resulted in health problems ever since.
In the months leading up to her disappearance, Mullis filed a lawsuit against the physician. In addition to that, Morris alleges that this physician and Daniel York Sr. were involved in a drug operation and that Mullis discovered something she shouldn’t have through her malpractice suit.
Daniel York Sr.’s Dark Past
While Don Morris’ claims about the physician have not been substantiated, ongoing concerns about Daniel York Sr. can be.
On November 17, 2010, the charred body of 22-year-old Heather Musick was found in a burned-out room at the Budget Inn on West Commerce Road in Daleville. The Delaware County coroner had to use dental records to identify her.
Musick’s father, Herman Musick, suspected that his daughter had been murdered. He said his daughter was a drug addict who had become friends with some dangerous people. And according to Heather’s sister, Makensie, police also suspected foul play.
Two weeks before Heather’s death she told her father, “Dad, I’m ready to get off the drugs.”
Herman Musick set up his daughter at a residence a couple of blocks from his house so that he could be close enough to help her if she needed it.
Within a couple of days, Heather was taking drugs again. But how did she end up at the Budget Inn the night she died?
Daniel York Sr. allegedly paid for the room Heather Musick died in. However, he refused to speak with Daleville police and hired an attorney in January 2011.
Daleville Police Chief James King, who headed up the investigation, said, “That man has actually obtained an attorney. We’d have to go through his attorney to talk to him. His attorney said they’re willing to talk. He was supposed to get back with me, and we’ve not heard from him.”
Police spoke to York the day of the fire, but weren’t able to reach him after Musick’s body was discovered.
Guests on either side of Musick’s motel room said that she had visitors off and on that night. By the next day, her room had been gutted by fire.
The case remains unsolved.
Daniel York Sr. Passes Away in Sarasota, Florida
A couple of years after moving to Sarasota, Florida with his wife and little Abigail, Daniel York Sr. died at the age of 62 on September 15, 2015.
Abigail Was Officially Adopted by Sheila York in 2016
After Daniel died, Florida Judge Frederick Mercurio ruled in favor of Sheila York regarding custody of Abigail, and Mullis’ parental rights were terminated.
The adoption was finalized on August 1, 2016. So now Abigail is being raised by Mullis’ boyfriend’s wife instead of being cared for by her biological grandparents or anyone with a true family connection. Not only that, but Abigail’s biological grandparents are being prevented from visiting her.
A 2017 Tip from Psychic Leads Investigators to Bones
In September 2017, a tip from a psychic led a film crew to the banks of the Mississinewa River where they located some bones. Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn, who was called to the scene, said he would get a pathologist and anthropologist to examine the remains.
Hahn said he thought that one of the bones might be a rib while another appeared to come from an arm.
Delaware County Police Detective Kurt Walthour said the bones were found along the river banks and “could have washed up there” from the Mississinewa.
A coroner later confirmed that the bones were not human.
A Fake Private Investigator Preys on the Morris Family
As if grieving the disappearance of their daughter wasn’t enough, police believe a fake private investigator was preying on the Morris family.
A man from Boston, Massachusetts contacted the Morris family after likely hearing about Ashley Morris Mullis from social media sites. He told the family he was a private investigator, but officials discovered he didn’t have law enforcement experience and had three felony warrants for his arrest from other states.
“He shows up and tries to find a family in need and tells them that he’s here to help, but it seems like he’s taking advantage of the family,” said Walthour.
Police and family members believe the man created a fake fundraising site in Mullis’ name only to pocket the money for himself. It’s also possible that the man is after the family’s $10,000 reward money.
“I’ve spoken to him one time on the phone and after that he wouldn’t call me back, but he wouldn’t tell me where they came from,” said Walthour.
Many Women from the Area Have Mysteriously Vanished
Ashley Morris Mullis is not the only person to have mysteriously vanished from the Muncie and Royerton area of Indiana. A large number of young women have disappeared from or been found murdered in the tri-state area.
Jessica Masker disappeared on April 15, 2013, just weeks after giving birth to a son. She, too, was young, petite, and had long, dark hair.
Masker was last seen leaving the hospital where she had gone to visit her premature baby.
Brianna DiBattiste, 25, went missing on June 16, 2014. She was also petite and attractive with long, brown hair. Her remains were found almost four months later at the Jay County Conservation Club.
DiBattiste’s death was ruled as undetermined, mainly because her skull and both hands were missing. Police said that animals were responsible for her missing remains, but her shoes, purse, and cell phone were not at the scene.
Angie Barlow was 23 years old when she went missing after a party on October 27, 2016. Her remains were found in June 2017, buried in a backyard.
Forensic anthropologists from the University of Indianapolis believe her remains had been buried there for at least several months. The homeowner has no connection to Barlow or her disappearance.
Like Mullis, Barlow was a petite and attractive girl in her 20s with long, brown hair.
Ashley Morris Mullis’ Family Continues to Search for Her
Mullis’ family continues to search for answers regarding their daughter’s disappearance.
Don Morris won’t rest until she’s found, saying, “This has been a long hard road and I need closure.”
Mullis may have disappeared in 2013, but the search is far from over. Taking the investigation into their own hands, Don Morris and his wife, Leandra Morris, have traveled all over the state handing out missing persons flyers, conducting interviews, starting Facebook groups, creating T-shirts and banners, organizing search parties, following up on all tips, and hiring a private K-9 search and recovery company.
Morris knows every step will get him that much closer to finding his daughter. He reiterated that there was no way his daughter would have left her family and children without letting someone know where she was going.
“My pain continues. My pain will continue until I get results to put my daughter to rest and I will not stop,” said Morris.
Morris’ Facebook page features videos of him searching for Mullis. He is vocal about his feeling that local authorities have forgotten about his daughter’s case.
He is also active on his page by helping other families with missing loved ones. In honor of Ashley Morris Mullis, Don Morris has said he wants to help others facing the same situation.
His latest quest is supporting a petition to the Louisiana State Senate that requests the creation of a new bill, the Ashley Morris Mullis Law. The goal is to make significant changes to the way the state handles missing and unidentified persons cases.
Anyone with relevant information on Ashley Morris Mullis, her disappearance, or where she might be now is asked to contact Detective Walthour at the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office: 765-747-7781; cite case #2013-40723. Or call the Indiana State Police at 317-453-9962.