Two People Charged in Double Murder of Pregnant Woman and Her Fetus in Arkansas

A pregnant Arkansas woman, Ashley Bush, 33, and the 31-week-old baby she was carrying were found dead insouthern Missouri, law enforcement said Thursday. The baby’s name was Valkyrie Grace Willis.

The bodies of Ashley and her daughter were found in separate locations in Missouri. The baby was found on Wednesday and the mother, Ashley, was located on Thursday, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s office. 

Bush had three other children, ages 8,7, and 2, and was engaged to Josh Willis, her fiancé.

Shawn Holloway, the Benton County Sheriff said the FBI has taken over the investigation and that Ashley Bush died of an apparent gunshot wound. There was no cause given in the baby’s death.

Nathan Smith, Benton County prosecutor said, “This is just a reminder that there is evil in this world. People do evil things. And that someone would prey upon a pregnant woman at her most vulnerable state is unimaginable, but unfortunately, that’s the world we live in.”

A married couple, Amber Waterman and Jamie Waterman, both of Jane, Missouri, have been arrested on kidnapping charges. In Arkansas, someone who kills a pregnant woman is charged with two counts of murder, according to Smith. Homicide charges have yet to be filed until the location of where the murders were committed is determined. 

Law enforcement said it was too early to state a motive in the deaths, but the two suspects will likely face federal charges. 

Officials were not yet able to lay out a precise timeline of the kidnapping and killings, and stressed that the investigation was ongoing and facts were being developed. They believe the couple met Bush online, offering her ajob interview.

In a statement, Josh Willis said, “I’m disgusted in the whole situation. I wish Ashley and Valkyrie were alive and home with us all. I can’ believe that there are people out there that would do something like this. She was a great mother, a wonderful wife, a very outgoing, caring, and kind person. They didn’t deserve any of this. There are three amazing kids here that just lost their mother/best friend and little sister. I just lost my wife and daughter. We are all going to support each other through this but we are all devastated in the whole thing. We all were hoping and praying they would come home safely. I’ve lost all hope in humanity. I appreciate all the help out there from everyone.”

This is an ongoing investigation and subject to updates as the investigation continues.

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