Ashley's Story

Ashley Doolittle lost her life on June 9, 2016, at the age of 18. She was a victim of teenage dating violence or more specifically, break-up violence.

Ashley had just graduated from Berthoud High School and had been accepted into Colorado State University where she was planning to study agriculture business in the Fall of 2016. Prior to moving to Berthoud, Ashley grew up in Lafayette and attended Louisville Middle School and Centaurus High School through her sophomore year. She was a good student and was involved in many activities outside of school. She was always helping those who needed help or a friend to talk to.

Ashley often said, “horses are my life”. She loved horses and the western way of life. She started riding lessons at 5 and at the age of 9 joined 4-H where she showed English, Western and Ranch Horse. She also was involved in horse judging competition and was named Champion Individual Overall at the 2014 Western National 4-H Horse Roundup. She found her love of agriculture after helping to start the Thompson FFA Chapter her Junior year in high school and held the VP office for two years. She had planned to continue at the State level.
In 2016 she was named Boulder County Fair and Rodeo Lady-in-Waiting and was posthumously crowned 2017 Queen at their rodeo in July. Ashley was well known throughout Boulder County and in the Rodeo Royalty world. She also had a love for cows and enjoyed helping her cousins work on the dairy farm in Wisconsin when she visited in the summer. A true farm girl through and through who lived the code of the west in all that she did.

Ashley had started dating at the age of 16 and started dating her second true boyfriend in Feb 2015 during her Junior year in high school.  At the beginning of the relationship, she was very happy. She was always a happy girl, laughing and smiling and was a real jokester. The boy she was dating was quiet and didn't talk much, but they seemed happy together. She never really brought her boyfriend home, they always met at his house. As the relationship continued, Ashley began to change. She no longer laughed and smiled like she used to. She seemed depressed and no longer seemed her happy self. Her family and friends were worried about her. As the relationship came to an end it was very unhealthy. He was controlling – looking at her phone, accusing her of seeing other boys, not wanting her to go out with friends, not wanting her to have friends of the opposite sex, telling her he didn't want her to go to parties when she was in college, tracking what she did during the day. She tried breaking up with him several times, but he always talked her into getting back together. When they finally broke up, he would not leave her alone. I talked to her about not being alone with him, to just ignore the texts he was sending her. She said to me “Mom, he won't hurt me.”

On June 9, 2016, he finally got her to meet with him in an isolated location. She didn't tell anyone that she was going to meet him. That day he shot her 3 times and killed her. While we will never truly know the events that took place prior to Ashley's death, one theory is that her ex-boyfriend had planned to commit suicide after killing Ashley. However, because of the nature of her death in that the first shot did not kill her, it is believed that he was afraid to take his own life.

There are no winners in this type of violence, just degrees of loss. Ashley lost her life, her ex-boyfriend will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Two lives, two families destroyed.