Family pleads for answers in death of pregnant Olathe woman who was making the best out of a difficult life

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OLATHE, Kan. -- It has been one month since the death of 23-year-old Ashley Harlan — and her family is still desperate for answers about who killed her.

On Thursday, Ashley Harlan’s aunts, uncle, boyfriend and other family members pleaded for help, as weeks have gone by with no closure.

Harlan and her unborn child were found dead Jan. 30 at a home in the 1200 block of East Westerfield Place, just minutes from Olathe North High School.

“Our family continues to pray to answers and unfortunately grieve without closure,” said Terry Stewart, Ashley’s uncle.

“We are asking the public to join our family in the ongoing search of the person or persons who did this, and you know who you are that are responsible for what happened to Ashley,” said Nikki Chapman, Ashley’s aunt.

A month before her death, Harlan moved from Manhattan, Kansas, to Olathe. She was last seen during the evening hours of Jan. 29.

“She never acted afraid; she never thought she was in trouble,” Stewart said.

Police haven’t released the cause of Harlan's death but said it’s being investigated as a homicide.

Ashley Harlan

“We want to reach out to folks right now that maybe saw something but haven’t called us yet," Olathe Police Sgt. Logan Bonney said. "Maybe they have a little bit of information that they don’t think is very important, and so they haven’t called us. But we want them to call us and let us make that determination on whether it’s important or not."

“It’s very devastating, very devastating,” Chapman said.

“It’s horrible. Your whole insides crawl,” said Jane Stewart, Ashley’s aunt.

Police said they’ve interviewed multiple people, followed up on information and tips -- but they still need more.

“We are desperately reaching out to the public for help,” Terry Stewart said.

Harlan was about 20 weeks pregnant.

“She was going that morning that she was found to find out what the baby was, which is very sad that she didn’t get to know that,” Chapman said.

“We never thought we would lose Ashley this soon, especially to such a senseless act of violence,” Terry Stewart said.

Harlan’s family said she had a troubled youth and was in various foster homes.

“She had a target on her back from the time she was little,” Jane Stewart said.

“Information is being shared about Ashley, about her troubling past. Yes, she had some lows, but doesn’t everybody?” Chapman said.

But family said she found God and left that life behind, looking forward to giving her unborn baby a life she never had.

“She did not have a good example of what parents were supposed to be," Jane Stewart said. "She had conversations with my husband and I about wanting to be a good mama and wanted to do the right thing. She already started collecting things for her nursery."

A Go Fund Me page was established to help Harlan's family pay for her funeral expenses.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Olathe Police Department at 913-971-6950 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. Police say you can remain anonymous if you'd like and no lead is too small.