Ashley Summers was just 14 years old when she went missing from a Cleveland suburb in 2007. After attending a birthday and Fourth of July celebration pool party at a family member’s house, Ashley decided to walk over to her aunt’s house, which was just down the street. She never made it there and she was allegedly never seen again.
It seemed as if Ashley had just disappeared—without a trace. But something had to have happened to her. Someone has to know something. Over the years, a number of possible breaks have been made in this case, breathing new life into it and restoring hope that Ashley Summers would be found.
|About Ashley Summers|
|Siblings||Victoria Summers, Jenna, Julia, Tina|
|Missing Since||July 6, 2007|
In fact, the FBI has recently shown renewed interest in the case, as new information has come to light.
Our Ashley Summers wiki tells you everything you need to know about the missing girl and the new developments in the case.
Who Is Ashley Summers?
Ashley Summers was born on June 16, 1993 in Cleveland, Ohio. She came from a very large family, complete with more than 10 aunts and uncles.
Her father abandoned the family after Ashley was born and her mother’s side of the family picked up the slack.
They enjoyed spending lots of quality time together, celebrating birthdays and going on family trips. By all accounts, Ashley is a very family-oriented person.
Ashley and her mother, Jennifer Summers, loved indulging in their shared guilty pleasure of watching cheesy horror movies together late at night.
“Our family was her life, you know,” Jennifer said. “I mean, aunts were her best friends like sisters. I mean, she had lots of love, lots of support.”
As Ashley got older, Jennifer started dating a new man. She ended up having five more children with him, including Victoria, Jenna, Julia, and Tina. Ashley absolutely adored her half-siblings and loved spending time with them, babysitting them, and taking them to the park.
All of Ashley’s family members describe her as being very loving, caring, family-oriented, and helpful around the house.
Family Tensions Rise
Things began to change drastically, though, around the time Ashley Summers turned 14. Like most teenagers, she began distancing herself from family, particularly her mom, and preferred to spend more and more time with her friends.
By this point, tension also accumulated between Ashley and Jennifer’s live-in boyfriend. She began to develop a combative attitude toward him and they’d constantly argue.
Coincidentally, it was also around this time when Ashley started to show an interest in boys and dating—a concept her mother was clearly uncomfortable with.
The teen started dating a boy from her neighborhood named Gene Gill, who was two years older than her. Worried about what her mother and the rest of her family would think of her dating and the person she was dating, Ashley kept the relationship a secret.
Gill would come over to the house during the day when Jennifer was at work, but Ashley’s younger siblings inadvertently told Jennifer about the new man in her eldest daughter’s life.
Jennifer said she “did not approve of [Ashley] dating him” and that Ashley “was too young to date in the first place.” So, she forbade Ashley from seeing Gill.
Shortly after Ashley and Jennifer had a huge argument regarding her dating life, Ashley did something completely out of character. She started stealing money from her mother. It started off with small amounts here and there. Afraid of pushing her daughter further away, Jennifer let the thievery slide for a while.
Until one night, when Ashley stole an entire paycheck from Jennifer’s dresser drawer in her bedroom. A fight ensued. A few days later, Ashley came home sporting a tattoo on her right arm with a red heart and Gene’s name sprawled in black ink in the middle. Jennifer quickly surmised that Ashley used the stolen money to pay for the tattoo.
Fed up with her daughter’s rebellious behavior, Jennifer sent Ashley to live with her grandmother for a while. Since it was summer, Ashley wouldn’t be missing school.
While living with her grandmother, Ashley also spent a lot of time at her great uncle Kevin Donathan’s house with her cousins and other family members.
Jennifer would call Ashley to check in on her every other day.
About one week after Ashley turned 14, she asked to move in with her aunt Debra—Jennifer’s sister—who had just moved into a new apartment in Cleveland. Debra conceded, but the move never ended up happening.
Ashley Summers Goes Missing
On July 4, 2007, Ashley went to a birthday pool party at her great uncle Keith’s house. She showed up alone and everyone assumed that she’d walked there from Kevin’s house, which was two miles away. Neither Jennifer nor Ashley’s younger half-siblings were at this party.
After spending a few hours with her family and swimming in the pool, Ashley reportedly decided to visit her aunt Christina, who lived just a 10-minute walk away from Keith’s. That was around 6:00 p.m., and it was apparently the last time anyone at that party heard from or saw Ashley. She never made it to her aunt Christina’s house.
Because it was so common for Ashley to stay with various relatives, Jennifer assumed that Ashley was either with her grandmother or great uncle Kevin. Only after two days of not having any contact with her daughter did she begin to suspect that something was wrong. She called Kevin to check on Ashley, but he told her that he hadn’t seen Ashley in two days and that he thought Ashley was with her grandmother.
Kevin claims the last time he saw or spoke with Ashley was on the morning of the Fourth of July pool party. They’d had a major argument. The argument started because, Kevin says, Ashley was engaged in family gossip on her phone, of which he disapproved. He asked her to stop immediately, but she refused. He ended up grabbing the phone from her hand and smashing it on the floor, effectively breaking off any contact Ashley had with her mother or anyone else in the process.
Jennifer Files a Missing Persons Report
When she didn’t hear from her daughter for a few days, Jennifer filed a missing persons report at the local police department.
Initially, the case was treated as a runaway situation by the police, given Ashley’s recent history with her family. But her family members insisted that it was not in Ashley’s nature to just run away and break off all contact.
She was always extremely active on social media, but after she disappeared, she just stopped communicating with everyone, including her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Gill. In the days following her disappearance, Ashley became uncharacteristically and eerily silent on social media.
According to Gill, he and Ashley spent pretty much every day together that summer until she went missing. He says he was out of town with his own family around the time she vanished.
The Summers Form Massive Neighborhood-Wide Search Parties
Roughly a week after Ashley disappeared, her family banded together to form search parties to look for the missing teen in their local and surrounding areas. They plastered missing person posters all over the area on mailboxes and cars and they even knocked on people’s doors asking their neighbors for information.
Potential leads came in almost instantaneously, with people claiming they’d seen Ashley or someone who looked like her walking around various neighborhoods.
Although her family never actually confronted Gill about the situation, it’s clear that they suspected he knew something. Jennifer even made a point of posting missing person flyers all around his home. When she returned to check up on them the next day, she says they were all torn down.
Gill was contacted by the Cleveland Police Department multiple times in connection to this case, but because he was only a teenager at the time, police have never revealed what he said to them. It could also mean that he didn’t have any relevant information about his girlfriend’s whereabouts.
Ashley’s friend and aunt, Debra, also contacted Gill to question him, but his answer was always the same: he said he had no idea what happened to Ashley. Gill said the last time he saw Ashley was when he and his father drove her to Kevin’s house a few days before they left for their family trip. His last memory of her is watching her walk into Kevin’s house.
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
Out of desperation and possibly immense frustration that the case was going nowhere, Jennifer started following Gill around. “I would just drive around until I seen him,” she admitted. “Some days I would see him, some days I wouldn’t.”
It was during one of these strange episodes that she witnessed Gill walking into an abandoned house late at night. Worried that her daughter was hiding inside the house and fearing for her own safety, Jennifer contacted the police to investigate.
But Ashley wasn’t there and Jennifer never found out what Gill was doing inside that house, nor did she ever confront him about what happened.
Approximately 14 months after Ashley’s disappearance, Gill admitted he started developing major emotional problems and turned to illegal activities to alleviate some of the stress. The emotional stress of constantly being under scrutiny from Ashley’s family and relentless questioning from authorities led the then-16-year-old to a life of crime. He has been in and out of jail several times since then, for drug possession and armed robbery charges.
To this day, he maintains that he has no idea what happened to her.
A Strange and Mysterious Phone Call
Four weeks later, while Jennifer was at work, she got a mysterious phone call from a blocked number. It was Ashley—or at least, she thought it was. All she heard on the other line was, “It’s me, mom. I’m okay. Don’t worry.” Then the person abruptly hung up.
After the initial excitement from the call wore off, Jennifer started to question whether the caller was actually her daughter. It didn’t make any sense for Ashley to call her mother and not want to talk to her or at the very least explain what happened or where she was.
Vicki Anderson, a special agent at the FBI who has been working on Ashley’s case for