This may be off topic for this blog

This may be  a little  off topic for this blog, but I want to do a post on this. And if the suspicion that surrounds the case is correct then it certainly applies here.  I have relatives in Columbus, Ohio. So I have been watching this for some time.

Every city has their share of murders, and even some disappearances. And Columbus has quite a few murders. But they also have a lot of disappearances. Young men and women who disappear out of the blue. A few have been found deceased months or even years later. Their families will never see their faces, because often what they get back are skeletal remains.

But there are others. Those where years go by and they haven’t been found. Their families are in that limbo. Fearing they will never see their child alive- yet hoping that they are still out there somewhere. Yet as the years go by, that hope shrinks, and the despair gets replaced by just a desire to know what happened.

There are other cases out there, but I am going to write today about just one of those young women.

Ashley Lynn Howely was 20 years old. An adult, but still trying to find her path in the world. She was a pretty girl, her face still having some of that roundness you associate with teen girls.

As I said, Ashley was still trying to find her niche in the world. She was young, who knows what changes she would have made in her future? She worked as an exotic dancer. She danced under the stage name “Skyy”. She had her own apartment and a car. She had her own friends. And she had a family. Her family didn’t have money. And to be honest, there were rumors or hints of maybe some alcohol or drug involvement. There wasn’t  much media coverage of her disappearance.

On June 24, 2004 Ashley and a friend went to a local pool. While they were there, a male whom she “knew intimately” came up to her and allegedly threatened to kill her. Friends have said that the boyfriend abused her. It is known that Ashley later called 911, and said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend…..but she refused medical care. According to the police, Ashley alleged the boyfriend had hit her on the head, choked her and threatened to kill her.  That is the last official time that anyone talked with her. It is known that after the assault Ashley had planned to pack some belongings and go to a friend’s home, however she never arrived.

Ashley may have talked with her family on June 18, 2004 in the early morning hours. Records show that her cell phone was used a couple of days after her disappearance. There were unconfirmed sightings of her on June 17 and 18. There has been no contact from her since.

When Ashley did not contact her relatives by Father’s Day, June 20,  her family became concerned and on June 23, went to her apartment. They did not find her there. But her car was in the parking lot and her dog was barking inside.

On July 9, detectives searched her apartment and found no signs of foul play. And her car was not in the parking lot. About a month later, her car was found a few blocks from her home. It was covered in debris and the glove box was empty.

Weeks after her disappearance police received a tip that Ashley had been murdered and her body was dumped in an undisclosed location.

Howley’s body has never been found. Her boyfriend is the prime suspect in her disappearance. The boyfriend was on probation at the time of Ashley’s disappearance, but his probation was revoked in Oct. 2004 for failing to attend counseling, he tested positive for drugs and because there was evidence that he assaulted Ashley prior to her disappearance.’Ashley%20Howley’                               (This link also has information on others who are missing from Ohio, and contains the ones missing from the Columbus area.)

The family appears to be at that stage where they don’t believe that Ashley is still alive any longer. But they still want her back. As another mother with a missing adult child pointed out…..anytime you lose a child, that is the most awful thing that can happen. But when you don’t even have a grave to go to, a place to grieve and commune with your child, that is worse.

This family deserves to have their child home. If you know anything about Ashley Howely or her disappearance you are asked to contact the Columbus police dept or Crimestoppers. You can make a report anonymously.

Lost in Lima Ohio has a post from Ashley’s cousin. You can hear the pain and the plea in her writing. They want her home. Yet, with no body there has been little attention to the case. It has joined others in that deep and dusty Cold Case drawer. Ashley’s family, like other families need their children home.


With Robert MacMichael II in jail awaiting trial on charges that he murdered his mother and her boyfriend, police have now announced they have received information on Ashley Howley.

“Investigators received information that there were human remains in this area,” Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said. “Over the last couple days, they came into the area, and we have confirmed that we have found human remains.”

Are the remains Ashley Howley? Will this family finally be able to put their loved one to rest? At this point it is too early to tell as the remains are skeletal and other means will have to be used for an identification. The remains were found in woods behind of the home of MacMichael II’s father. An address where MacMichael once lived.

Thanks goes to LILO for the update.


Thanks to AlwaysInFlyoverCountry we have another update.

The remains that were found have been officially identified as the remains of Ashley Howely.



  1. janet said,

    March 26, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    does anyone have the boyfriend’s name?

  2. Terrie Poynter said,

    March 29, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    If anyone cares, Ashley Howleys mother died on Feb. 14 not knowing where her daughter is. Please if anyone knows anything please contact the police. I know my sister will rest at peace. Thank you. Her Aunt

  3. Terrie Poynter said,

    March 29, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    If anyone cares about Ashley Howley please call the police with any information. Her mother passed away not knowing where she is. I know she will rest at peace if she knew where she is or any information. Thank You Her Aunt

  4. Terrie Poynter said,

    March 29, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you

  5. Terrie Poynter said,

    March 29, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Please give any information to the police.

  6. T said,

    April 2, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    The boyfriend’s name was Robert McMichael from Columbus, Ohio
    It’s been said that he still frequents topless bars
    Constantly called Jackie (Ashleys mother) and harrassed her

  7. Christa Howley said,

    April 4, 2007 at 3:29 am

    I am Ashley’s sister and I beg anyone with info please step forward. You don’t even have to say your name. My mom past away on 2/14/99 with knowing what happen to Ashley. Please let my mom rest in peace, please let my family have peace.

  8. Christa Howley said,

    April 4, 2007 at 3:31 am

    She past away on 2/14/07 with out knowing what happen to Ashley.

  9. T said,

    April 5, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Robert D. Mc Michael to be precise !!

  10. t said,

    April 7, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    I’m sure who ever if responsibe for Ashleys’ disappearance is not reading these blogs–but someone..somewhere knows something and I hope it haunts them everyday. Please come forward so this family can have the closure they deserve.

  11. January 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

    […] MacMichael II may be connected to a previous case that I have written about. In May of 2006 I wrote “This may be off-topic for this blog.” The story of the disappearance of Ashley Howley. In 2004 Ashley Howley went missing and has never […]

  12. r said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    “T” You seem really sure that Robert MacMichael was responsible for Ashley’s disappeareance. If you knew he was abusing her before she disappeared WHY didn’t you do something about it??? Maybe 2 other murders could have been prevented…And all of us could stop searching for Answers.

  13. February 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    R, I can partially answer your question. No one can do anything about the abuse of another adult. Only that adult can do anything about it. Friends and family can advise, can plead and can even order the adult to do something about it but until that adult is ready no one can do it for them. And it does look like Ashley may have been ready to do something as she did make that 911 call.
    I am going to ask you nicely this time to not try to throw the guilt for this back on the family or friends.

  14. Rick said,

    February 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    also r,

    the only one to blame for all of the murders is the person who actually committed them…dont be a typical douchebag and blame the victims, the victims’ friends/family, the police, or society for someone elses actions…the only person responsible for their actions are themselves…bobby killed ashley and bobby killed his mom and her one but bobby is responsible for that. its called accountability for one’s own actions.


  15. wondering said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Strange – but I have heard of cases where someone has been KILLED and the insurance companies won’t pay double for an accident as they state the victim was responsible in some way (whether it be small or big) for getting killed? Car accidents – even though a person may be struck by a car – sometimes they are given a PERCENTAGE of the blame even if they are paralyzed !!! Getting hurt on someone’s propery – again insurance companies try to put some percent of blame on the victim so they can pay less.

    Blaming the victim is a ploy used by BIG COMPANIES all the time !!!!

  16. February 18, 2008 at 1:30 am

    And aren’t we glad that this blog isn’t a big company? Blaming the victim is a tactic often done in domesstic abuse, and by abusers. Personally I don’t care what the victim did- if the victim stopped short of trying to murder someone, then I don’t really care what they did. No victim is ever perfect, yet I have seen very few who deserved to be murdered (and those had usually murdered or tried to murder someone else.) No one deserves the pain and fear of someone trying to kill them especially by someone they cared about and loved. And no family deserves the pain and grief of losing a loved one to murder.
    So I hereby serve the warning, I can and do make comments disappear and I can and do sometimes block people from posting.

  17. salis said,

    April 1, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    ashley was my wife’s best friend. Everyone around here knows what happened, and yet nothing can be done. Bobby, the boyfriend, is now awaiting murder charges in columbus for killing his own mom, so hopefully he will tell what he did and there can be some closure, and maybe some of the families pain will dissipate.

  18. salis said,

    April 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    from my understanding, she was trying to get away from mcmichael and had made phone calls to the cpd. columbus police dropped the ball. and anyone who acts like the victim didn’t do all they could to prevent being MURDERED is a (edited per HSH) sicko or an idiot.

  19. Berlyn said,

    April 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I would like to set the record straight for everybody Robert Mcmicheals was NOT Ashley’s boyfriend at the time! She had been being stalked and harassed by him for several months after trying to break up with him! You can check with police records I am sure there were several. He had moved out of their apartment they shared 8 months before her disappearance. Ashley was making every attempt to avoid this psycho. I was with Ashley almost everyday and she NEVER did anything to deserve something so horrible. “r” you are a terrible person!!!!

  20. April 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Post updated.

  21. joe said,

    April 6, 2008 at 2:23 am


    Ashley was lucky to have you as a good friend. I’m sure her mom and her are up in heaven looking down at you smiling. God know she didn’t deserve this. Hopefully, Ashley’s dad and sister will have some closure in a few days. I’ve been thinking of Ashley a lot in the past month, as I think of my sister’s death everyday. Take Care.

  22. AlwaysInFlyoverCountry said,

    April 8, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    The Columbus Dispatch states that investigators have confirmed through dental records that the human remains found beside the Olentangy River in northern Franklin County (Ohio) are those of Miss Ashley.


    Al ias Always In Flyover Country

  23. Jamie said,

    April 10, 2008 at 5:33 am

    In relation to previous posts-Something that people need to understand, is that leaving an abusive relationship is not as simple as one might think. If you do your research you will find that most attacks and murders occur when the victim attempts to leave the situation and put a stop to the violence.

    Regardless of bad judgment and some wrong turns in life, no one deserves an untimely death or pain inflicted upon them by others. To blame the victim for bringing that action upon themselves is a careless and unthoughtful reaction to what took place. The only person to blame is the person who commits the act or those who aide and abed the person who does so. To cast blame elsewhere is short sighted to say the least.

    Those who are in or know people in abusive situations have to realize that it takes the individual to step up and make the change so to place blame on family and friends is also an uninformed statement to make. Family and friends can only provide support to that person not control them.

    To anyone who is in a relationship like that you have to conquer your fear and chose yourself and/or your children over the abuse being inflicted upon you. It takes inner strength and courage which can take time before one can take those steps. Those who are in such situations should search out organizations that can provide assistance and educate them on how to leave. One should never under estimate what a violent person is capable of doing. Don’t assume they won’t do something as drastic as stalking and murder. Take the percautions necessary to protect yourself and others.

    Ashley never had the opportunity to move on from that relationship and experience life without the fear and threats she suffered from this man/monster. It’s a sad fact and I only hope that those who have read or know about this crime learn from this situation. I also pray that those who know anything more about what happened come forward to provide the information to the authorities so that the truth is known.

    I take solice in knowing that she is no longer alone and is in a far better place with her mother and other famly members. We were part of the fortunate few who are able to say that our loved one can be brought home and we can all have peace at last as selfish as that may sound. Ashley and Jackie live on through our memories and in our hearts.

    I want to thank those who have loved and supported them through the good times and the bad. Those who befriended and didn’t judge but accepted and loved them for who they were.

    Jamie- Ashley’s aunt and Jackie’s sister

  24. Jamie said,

    April 10, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Death is nothing at all,
    I have only slipped away into the next room,
    I am I and you are you;
    Whatever we were to each other, That we still are.
    Call me by my old familiar name,
    Speak to me in the easy way which you always used,
    Put no difference in your tone,
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we shared together.
    Let my name ever be the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant,
    It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
    All is well.

    Henry Scott Holland, Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

  25. Trey said,

    April 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Jamie wrote: “In relation to previous posts-Something that people need to understand, is that leaving an abusive relationship is not as simple as one might think.”

    Well, I disagree in part. It is simple, but it is not easy. You get up, get your children, and head to a shelter or relative’s house. Simple.

    As you say, it takes courage and a deep sense of personal responsibility, and it requires that you face and push through the threats and history of violence. Not at all easy.

    I think it is crucial to not blame anyone who is truly victimized, perpetrators are ALWAYS responsible for their perpetration. No excuses, no caveats. And the victims are always responsible for finding a way to get safe. The law cannot do that, organizations cannot do that. Both good laws and good organizations can facilitate the victim claiming their safety, but they are not able to make it happen.

    My worry is that if we minimize someone’s responsibility for finding their own way to safety, we condemn them to suffering abuse and perhaps death. Because it is up to them to find the bravery and push through the fear and control. We cannot do it for them, as you point out in your post.

    To support the safety of the abused, I think we need to accept and support their ability to use the resources available to seek safety, we should empower them, and believe in them. This is not blaming, it is believing in their strength and power even when they do not.

    I have not worked with people who are being currently abused, but I have learned from people who do! They never give the folks advice about how they need to leave, whenever they do they activate the reasons that the person chooses to stay: they hear things like “But I love him” or “But she has promised to never do it again.” Instead, the folks who do high leve work with people who are being currently abuse say things like “You are so brave. You are willing to face continued abuse and possible death to you and your children. I am not nearly so brave and strong as you.”

    That activates the persons strength and capacity for self protection. At least that is what the bright people who do high level work with this population say!

    Having written all this, I grieve for your loss. My prayers are with you and your loved ones, may you all have God’s peace.


  26. April 10, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Actually I disagree with both of you and agree with both of you in part. Making the decision to leave is never simple. Many other things are involved with that decision.

    There is the emotional aspect that brought the two into the relationship in the first place. And when the abuse there, the person wants out… but can still see in the abuser the emotional aspect that brought them into the relationship in the first place.

    There is the financial aspect, because when they leave there may be difficulties in supporting themselves and any children. When they leave they will most likely be leaving a large part of their lives behind. Often they have to make the break suddenly so they can take little with them. They have to find or have a job so they can not only be self supporting, but they have to be able to support any children- and often they won’t be able to support themselves at the same level they had while in the relationship.

    There is the social aspect, as many feel very alone having few friends or friends who were the other’s friends to start with. There are the children, because when they pick up and start over in a new life, the kids will also have to start over leaving their friends behind.

    There are also a lot of other aspects to look at. DV causes low self esteem, a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness and often depression. So in leaving they are also having to fight their own emotions.

    Then there is also the fear. What will happen to them if they leave, what will the other do? Some will stalk and attempt to maim or murder. It is true that often the most dangerous time for a person in an abusive relationship is at the point that they leave.

    There is also a fear of the unknown. If they leave, if they strike out alone supporting themselves and the children, will they be able to make it, how will they live, will they have friends, will they ever love again? Yes, there is help available. Help to get them out. But then they are on their own. And that in itself is scary and difficult to do.

    Many are not aware of shelters being available, many are not sure what shelters do or how they can help. How long they can stay there, and what happens when a shelter is no longer available. They may not be aware of what other resources are available to them. They may fear leaving an abusive situation to one where they have no control or influence over their own or their children’s future. Some even see a shelter like a weakness, like some type of charity. Most don’t realize that a call to the local agency will help to answer their questions and take away some of that fear.

    A woman will often leave an abusive relationship several times before she leaves finally and successfully. But a woman can leave and stay away successfully, though it won’t be easy. It is hard work and very hard emotionally. But it is also very rewarding. A person knows they are successful when they can look back at what they have accomplished, and know that they no longer have to fear being physically or emotionally abused. When she accepts that she will make mistakes, but that those mistakes are learning experiences and not failures.

  27. Trey said,

    April 11, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Well, I think we agree more than you realize! Getting out is simple and easy, making the decision to do so is complicated and difficult. Getting out involves walking, but it also involves facing fear, doubt, manipulation, and control.


  28. April 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Actually even the act of leaving takes planning. It is safest if they make some contact with a domestic violence agency and get advice and learn about what assistance is available first. Sometimes they have to leave under police protection, especially if it is right after a violent episode. Sometimes relatives or friends have had to secret them away or where they made friends or relatives aware so that they could bring police to get them. And I have even read of one woman who was locked inside a home when her hubby went to work- she had to leave through a window. Every situation is different and that is why the safest way is to make contact with an agency first and enlist their help.

  29. Trey said,

    April 11, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    “Every situation is different and that is why the safest way is to make contact with an agency first and enlist their help.”

    I agree about every situation being unique, but my authority issues come out when I think of trusting an agency! I tend to trust my feet more!

    Having said that, I see your point. The agency I worked with a bit was stealing money from United Way, so I am sure that tainted my trust even further. I would trust the cops to come supervise the exodus though, most of the time, they seem to get it right.


  30. April 12, 2008 at 3:16 am

    Read here a while longer and then talk to me about trusting cops in this situation. Some cops yes, some departments yes. Some?

    How about refusing to respond to a 911 call for domestic abuse (victim and her mother died)? How about multiple complaints for breaking restraining orders, with an admission from the accused… and no arrest (multiple)? How about multiple calls to the same address in the same week, and no arrests (several)? How about police officers home’s where the brother officers “convince” the complaintant she doesn’t want to file charges? How about holding domestic violence restraining orders and not serving them?

  31. Becky J said,

    April 12, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Well said HSH!! Like you said some cops are great and others leave alot to be desired and only revictimize the victim again making them feel stupid and unworthy. “You deserve what you got because you stayed and put up with it, why should i waste my time?” Those words were actually said to me when i was leaving my ex husband.

  32. Trey said,

    April 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Well, I did say “most of the time.” 8)

    Trust is apparently inhibited by the group that you have had the worse experiences with. Mine have been a domestic violence support group, yours the police. I wonder if my being a man has something to do with that? It has nothing to do with my experience with the DV group, they lied and stole, no gender involved. But the cops I know obviously see me as a man, and that certainly colors their interactions with me.


  33. Doug M said,

    April 15, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I remember “Bobby” MacMichael beating the hell out of a learning disabled/ADD kid in middle school. He stomped on his head until his eye was basically hanging out. A real POS then and a real POS now. His dad actually seemed like a somewhat decent person back then, and may actually be such. Just quite bizarre how such an unruly/uncivilized creature was created. Sorry for the victims related to these tragic events. May they rest in peace.

  34. Trey said,

    April 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Doug, that is often a puzzle. According to your post, the problem does not look like a family issue in some ways. I wonder if it was an attachment problem, or brain damage, or just plain old wickedness. It is compelling to wonder why some people have a lifestyle of assault and battery.


  35. joe said,

    April 19, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Was Bobby MacMichael mentally ill from the time he was an adolescent? Or maybe even born with mental illness? Did his parents ever seek treatment? Did Bobby MacMichael turn to drugs and get hooked. Was it a combination of mental illness and drug abuse that caused him to murder?? If he did murder? Who are we to judge — I guess we’ll have to all wait and see what this trial brings?

  36. Trey said,

    April 19, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Interesting questions Joe. The people in the jury will decide on his guilt based on the evidence, so they will judge whether he has been proven guilty.

    As for the mental health questions, I think that psychology does a good job in helping us understand why somone acts the way they do, but it is misused when a defense lawyer uses psychology to excuse a choice. Except for insanity that is. As an example, it is interesting and perhaps helpful to know that someone who is a serial killer was abused as a child, but it does not mean that they deserve a lighter sentence. I mean, most people who were abused as children never hurt anyone.

    Being insane is different in that it means that the person was not able to tell right from wrong behavior at the time of the offense. True insanity is very rare! I have done a few evaluations of juveniles a even fewer of adults to check on their sanity, and nobody was impaired enough to not know right from wrong or to be completely out of control.

    And drugs certainly make people do stupid stuff, but not taking the drugs stops all that.


  37. Jessica said,

    July 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I used to hang out with Bobby in High School, and I never remember him being violent…I started shaking when I saw this story. We were good friends and he dated one of my best friends…I can’t believe he changed in to being such a bad person 😦

  38. RambErromma said,

    January 22, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

  39. Anollavab said,

    April 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

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