Her Earliest Years:
Ashley Marie Pond was born on March 1, 1989. Her mother, Lori Davis, was barely 16 at the time, almost a child herself. For the first few years of Ashley's life, she lived with her mother and her mother's high school sweetheart, David Pond. Eventually the two married, and Ashley viewed David as her father.
She Could Entertain Herself:
Ashley was described as an easy child who could entertain herself and one who adored being hugged. Basically well-behaved Ashley seemed to live a fairly normal life for a child of parents so young. But then at about the age of nine or ten, Lori Pond divorced David Pond, and Ashley's world changed forever.
The Truth About Her Biological Father :
During the divorce the couple fought about child-support payments and a paternity test was administered to determine if Ashley was indeed David Ponds biological daughter. To Ashley’s devastation, it was determined that he was not, but instead a man named Wesley Roettger was her real father.
She Admits to Being Sexually Abused:
She began to visit her biological father, staying with him on the weekends. It was during this time that friends and family noticed she was growing increasingly sullen and confrontational. She began to resist visiting her father until finally she admitted to her mother that Wesley Roettger had been sexually abusing her. In January 2001, Roettger was indicted on 40 counts of raping and sexually abusing Ashley over a time span of four years. He pled no contest to one count and was released.
Ward Weaver Enters Her World:
During the following months, the police were called out to the Pond apartment for various reasons including an allegation that Pond was drunk and neglecting the children. By April 2001, Ashley Pond was spending a lot of time over at the house of a friend, who was the daughter of Ward Weaver. In early spring, a report was made by Linda Virden, Ashley's reading teacher, to Gaffney Lane Elementary principal Chris Mills, that she saw Ward Weaver kiss Ashley on the lips.
She Finds Comfort at the Weaver Home:
According to the Portland Tribune, Ashley spent almost the first half of 2001 with the Weaver family even joining Ward Weaver, his girlfriend and Weaver's daughter on a two-week vacation to California in late June, early July. The calls to the police about disturbances at the Pond's home continued over the next few months and Ashley spent more and more time with the Weavers.
Weaver is Accused of Sexually Abusing Her:
In early August, Ashley confided in her reading teacher, Linda Virden, that Ward Weaver was molesting her and threatened to testify against her in father's rape trial. Earlier in April she also accused two other men of molesting her, but recanted her statements. Possibly the fear of no one believing her kept her from pursuing charges against Weaver.
Paperwork Slips Through the Cracks:
Once the accusations were made, she stopped going to Weaver's house and felt ostracized by Weaver, Weaver's daughter, and friends of Weaver's daughter. Due to the sloppy handling of the paperwork by county officials regarding Ashley's accusation, Weaver was never investigated or charged for sexually abusing Ashley at that time.
Life Begins to Settle Down:
Throughout the following fall, Ashley's life seemed to settle down. Her grades were improving and she was fighting less with her mother. Some of her bubbly personality seemed to return. As Christmas approached it has been suggested that Ashley and the Weaver's had partially renewed their friendship.
Ashley Pond is Murdered:
According to the Portland Tribune, On Jan 9, 2002, Lori Pond heard Ashley say goodbye around 8:15 a.m. as she headed out to catch her school bus at a stop near Weaver’s home. What happened to Ashley after that time is unknown. What is known is that at some point before she died, she consumed possibly as much as five shots of whiskey.
On the weekend of August 24-25, the body of Ashley Pond was found inside a barrel buried in a hole in the backyard of Ward Weaver's rental home. A concrete slab had been poured over the hole. According to Weaver's son, Francis Weaver, his father confessed to him that he killed Ashley Pond, although the exact details of the confession have changed from time to time.
On October 4, 2002 Ward Weaver was indicted for the murder of Ashley Pond and of 16 other counts including sex abuse, attempted rape, aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse all of which he plead not guilty.
On September 22, 2004 Ward Weaver plead guilty to killing two of his daughter's friends then hiding their bodies on his property. He received two life sentences for the deaths of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis.
Ward Weaver lll: A Life of Brutality
Profile of Miranda Gaddis
The Ward Weaver Case