Ashley Melnyczok was only 27-years-old when her life was taken. Ashley was a mother of a 10-year-old daughter. Ashley had a very toxic relationship with her ex. After a bad fight, the ex didn’t let Ashley see her daughter for awhile and had full parental rights. Ashley’s ex let her see her daughter again about a week before she died.
Ashley was very close to her sister, Justyna. Justyna said the two of them loved to be outside or hike, and were always laughing for hours. Ashley was also described as a daredevil and spunky.
The 911 Call
On June 3, 2015, Ashley’s close friend called the Colorado Springs police around 3:54am. He said he believed Ashley had been killed as she wasn’t moving. The police asked him if he was still at her apartment, but he said no. The police found it odd that he sounded so calm after just finding his friend dead.
When the police arrived, they found Ashley lying on the floor of her bedroom. She had been stabbed 4 times. A plastic bag had been put over her head, and tape was on her neck to hold the bag in place. Ashley had several defensive wounds, so it was clear she had fought back.
Ashley had been dead for about 24 hours, as rigor mortis was starting to set in. A folding knife and a receipt from a home goods store was found near her body.
In Ashley’s bedroom closet, the police found an almost empty lock box. There were a few items left inside, but they weren’t of any value. Ashley’s wallet, keys and car were also missing.
A bloody fingerprint was lifted from the plastic bag found on Ashley’s head. The plastic bag was from the same home goods store that the receipt had been from.
A List of Suspects
Ashley’s friend that had called 911 returned to the crime scene. He was interviewed by the lead detective, Jerry Schiffelbein.
Ashley’s friend said he hadn’t heard from Ashley in several days, and was worried about her. He said Ashley was supposed to call him on June 1, but didn’t.
He said he went over to her apartment on June 1, two days before the 911 call. A man who called himself J.P. answered the door, and said Ashley wasn’t there. Ashley’s friend said he waited in the parking lot, and tried calling her again. He said he watched J.P. walk out of the apartment, and get into a dark vehicle. Ashley’s friend said her white car was in the parking lot on June 1.
The police asked Ashley’s friend if she had any exes. He mentioned that Ashley had dated a guy named Tyler, who was a soldier at Ft. Carson. The police tried to contact Ft. Carson several times, but Tyler wasn’t there.
Ashley’s sister, Justyna, also told the police about the father of Ashley’s daughter. Justyna said after he took custody of their daughter, Ashley fell into a depression. Justyna said Ashley was coming out of her depression about a week before she died. She had bought a new apartment and hoped that her daughter could live with her.
Justyna was asked if Ashley kept anything in her lock box. Justyna said yes, Ashley kept a large amount of cash because she didn’t trust the bank.
The Prime Suspect
The police eventually ruled out Ashley’s friend and her ex. The police learned from a background check on Ashley that she had several pending cases for domestic violence complaints against Joseph Tyler Kimsey, her other ex. Tyler was the ex that had been stationed at Ft. Carson. An APB was put out for him.
The police turned back to the receipt from the home goods store. Ashley and a friend of hers from Denver had visited the store on May 21. Ashley’s friend said he had helped her move into her apartment that day.
Ashley’s missing white car was found. The police had for anyone to keep an eye out for the car. Someone had placed a 911 call, and had followed two people, a man and a woman.
The occupants of the car told the police that they had been at a residence when a man named J.P. arrived in Ashley’s car. The police had hear that name before. J.P. or Jonathan Paul Nelson, had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines two years earlier.
J.P. was released on bail in May. He had been accused of hitting a woman in the back of the head with a sledgehammer. A photo of J.P. was shown to the occupants of the car and to Ashley’s friend. All three of them identified J.P. as the man they had seen.
A Murder Plot
Ashley’s neighbors contacted the police, and said that a man matching J.P. description had returned to her apartment with a duffel bag.
The police arrived just in time to see J.P. running through an alley. The police chased him through a parking lot, and eventually captured him. In his duffel bag, they found tarps, a machete, carpet cleaner, brushes and utility gloves.
Det. Schiffelbein interviewed J.P., who said he hadn’t heard from Ashley, and went to check on her. J.P. said he wasn’t involved, and hadn’t been at her apartment on June 1. When he was confronted about being involved with Ashley’s murder, he asked for a lawyer. Det. Schiffelbein said that was fine, but J.P. was notified that he was being arrested for murder.
On June 30, a man who was incarcerated contacted the police. He said J.P. had confessed to him that he killed Ashley by stabbing her. He dropped another bombshell too. He said J.P. and someone named ‘Ponyboy’ killed her together.
‘Ponyboy’ was eventually tracked down. He was revealed to be Ashley’s missing ex, Joseph Tyler Kimsey. Det. Schiffelbein had been contacted by the Canyon City police who had arrested Kimsey for failure to appear in court.
Kimsey denied being involved in Ashley’s death, and said he had been driving to South Carolina. The police learned that Kimsey and J.P. had met in jail, and created a plan to rob Ashley.
J.P. was released on bond in May. He made a phone call to Kimsey, who was still in jail. On the recorded call, J.P., says, “I will make sure I fucking get her.” Kimsey tells J.P. to act like an angel, and J.P. says, “okay, I will put on my nice face.”
On June 1, J.P. had texted Ashley telling her that he was a friend of one of her friends, and asked her to hangout. Ashley said no, so when Kimsey was released from jail, he texted her.
Kimsey and J.P.’s phones had pinged from a cell tower near Ashley’s apartment, proving that Kimsey hadn’t been driving to South Carolina.
Kimsey and J.P. showed up to Ashley’s apartment on June 1. They immediately asked her for money, and killed her when she refused. Ashley fought back, and it’s believed that the plastic bag was used to quiet her down. J.P.’s fingerprint was found on the plastic bag on Ashley’s head.
At trial, Joseph Tyler Kimsey, blamed everything on J.P. His attorney said only J.P. was there and committed the murder.
It wasn’t mentioned in the episode, but Ashley had a lot of money from advertising on a escort website. It’s believed Ashley had about $20,000 in her apartment.
Kimsey’s DNA was found in Ashley’s apartment on a shirt, hat and shorts. His DNA being there proved J.P. didn’t act alone.
Both Joseph Tyler Kimsey and Jonathan Paul Nelson were convicted of first degree murder. They were both sentenced to life in prison.
Joseph Tyler Kimsey
Jonathan Paul Nelson
It’s really sad that most of the articles refer to Ashley as an escort. She has a name, and was brutally murdered by two guilty assholes. Ashley was a mother, sister, daughter and a friend. All of her family and friends had nothing but amazing things to say about her, and she was taken too soon.