Three people were found dead in a car in Sycolin Creek July 31. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office believes the victims to be a woman and two children reported missing July 28.
The woman, Courtney Ashe, 27, of Suffolk, was last seen leaving a family residence in Ashburn with Jalen C. Sills-Russell, 9, and Cameron A. Martin, 5. Ashe had traveled from another family residence in the Leesburg area with her cousin Jalen to pick up her son Cameron. The three were expected to return to the residence in Leesburg but never arrived, according to an LCSO press release.
The three were reported missing on July 30 and had not been seen or heard from since Friday. They were believed to be traveling in a four-door 2002 blue Ford Taurus with Virginia tags.
Family members from out of state joined local family and the LCSO in a search party July 31. A family member found the blue Ford Taurus partly obscured by brush off of Evergreen Mills Road in Leesburg. The car appears to have gone over an embankment, flipped over and into the creek.
The woman believed to be Ashe was found outside the car. The bodies of two children were found inside the vehicle. LCSO detectives believe she could have lost control of the car Friday night while the area was experiencing heavy rain.
“This is a notoriously tough road when it comes to weather conditions, the rain, the winding road and so forth, one lane each direction. So it’s not a great road to navigate in normal time, let alone during very bad weather,” Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said.
The car matches Ashe’s and though LCSO is still working to confirm the identity of the victims, they strongly believe it is Ashe, her cousin and her son, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said in a press conference. At this point, LCSO does not suspect foul play.
The investigation into exactly how the car ended up in the creek and how the people died is ongoing.
“This is just a tragic end to a tragic scenario,” Chapman said. “We’re happy to provide whatever comfort we can to the family at this point and try to bring this to some sort of closure. It’s such a difficult situation to everybody.”
This story was updated at 7:56 p.m. July 31 with details about the found vehicle and three dead.