‘We just want Ashley back’

The family of Ashley L. Miller (Carlson) is offering a $10,000 reward for information on her whereabouts and has set up a no-questions-asked anonymous tip line to take calls for anyone who might have information that can bring Ashley home.

Nora Miller, the grandmother of the missing woman, said that to her knowledge, there have not been any major developments in the case, and the family felt that they had to take action.

“We’re just hoping that the reward will make someone speak out,” Nora  said. “Even the smallest thing, it might be the last piece to the puzzle, the one that shows us where we need to go. We are not looking for a conviction. We just want Ashley back. We just want to find her.”

Information can be confidentially shared by calling or texting the family’s private investigator at 218-241-0341.

Reported missing

Ashley, age 33, was reported as missing on Friday, Sept. 24, by her family when the vehicle she was driving was found east of Hinckley in Graces Lake. There was no sign of Ashley in or around the vehicle or lake area. She was last seen on Sept. 23 in the Lake Lena (Aazhoomog) Community part of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Pine County. No one has seen or heard from her since.

According to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, it is unknown what Ashley was last wearing or her direction and means of travel. She did not have her personal belongings with her. Ashley is approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 217 pounds. She has brown/auburn hair and her eye color is hazel.

Search continues

Nora said the search for her granddaughter is ongoing.

“There are leads coming in,” she said. “The police are still working that area and doing everything they can.”

However, she made it clear that whether or not law enforcement is pursuing a criminal case, the family has only one goal.

“It’s just to get Ashley, to return Ashley back,” Nora said. “That is where we stand. I keep emphasizing that every time I share it. We’re not looking for a conviction. That’s not what we care about. People are totally safe giving any information through the private investigator. Nothing will ever be leaked. That way, it’s easier for people to call. Hopefully, that will convince somebody just to talk. Maybe ... somebody will say what they need to say.”

She said that the last few weeks have been difficult for all of Ashley’s family and friends, but especially on Ashley’s four young children.

“It was a really hard Halloween,” Nora said. “That was always the big thing – she’d go around with the kids. It’s getting tough.”

A Facebook page has been set up for supporters in the search for Ashley, and a GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/f/help-find-ashley-miller-carlson-missing-person) has been put up as well.

Nora said that the family has found support from others who have had a loved one go missing.

“It’s not a group that anybody wants to belong to, but once you get into it ... you hear stories,” Nora said. “[Ashley’s] not the only one missing. Every day there’s somebody.”

She said that Ashley’s disappearance has left a hole in their lives that can’t start healing until she is found.

“It is way too much,” Nora said. “But, strong family, strong faith. We’re not giving up, that’s for sure. Her kids need her home.”