FW woman murdered, apartment burned

Posted on 05 Dec 2014 at 6:45am

Ashlea-Harris

Fort Worth Police are continuing their investigation into the death of Ashlea Harris, 31, found dead in her southwest Fort Worth apartment around 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28, by firefighters responding to a fire.

The website for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office does not yet list the cause and manner of her death, but police are treating her death as a homicide.

A spokesman for the Fort Worth Police Department said firefighters responding to reports of a fire alarm going off in a unit at the River Ranch Apartments, 4700 King Ranch Road, about 4 a.m. Friday found a small blaze inside the apartment that had been contained by the apartment’s sprinkler system. After extinguishing the fire, though, firefighters found Harris’ body.

According to the medical examiner’s website, Harris was found in the bedroom of the apartment.

Friends and family told authorities that Harris, who worked for American Eagle Outfitters at Hulen Mall, had been working a late-night Black Friday shift, and had left the store about 4 a.m.

Friends described Harris as a friendly, positive person who loved her friends. And they loved her. One friend said she would miss Harris’ ever-present smile at Best Friends, the Fort Worth nightclub she often went to. Others promised to keep her memory alive and to keep pressing until whomever killed her is found and brought to justice.

About 50 people were on hand outside Harris’ apartment on Sunday night, Nov. 30, for a vigil and balloon release in her memory, and friends have set up a Facebook page in her memory, RIP Ashlea Harris.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. today (Friday, Dec. 5), at Baumgardner Funeral Home, 3704 Benbrook Highway. She is survived by her father and stepmother, Tommy Ray Harris Sr. and Mary Reedy; mother, Monica Cassity and her husband, Chuck; her brothers, Tommy Ray Harris Jr. and family, Phillip Cassity and family, Jared Cassity and family, William Cassity and Chris Cassity and family; sisters, Kari Medford and family, Melissa Hill and family, Candace Applebee and family, Amanda Towey and family, and Jamie Harris; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

— Tammye Nash

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 5, 2014.

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