MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) – Dozens of bikers rode up and down the lakeshore Saturday to raise money for whoever can lead the family of Ashley Young in the direction of their daughter’s missing remains.
Young, of Oshtemo Township, was murdered in December. Her partial remains were recovered in the Grand Rapids basement of Jared Chance. Earlier this month, a jury found Chance guilty of several counts including second-degree murder and mutilation of a dead body in the death of 31-year-old Young.
However, Chance has refused to tell investigators what he did with some of Young’s remains. In addition, Chance’s parents have been charged with perjury and as accessories after the fact of a crime. Investigators say there’s evidence the couple helped Chance dispose of Young’s remains.
Her mom and stepmom, Kristene Young and Dana Nelson hope any money they raise at the poker run and silent auction that follows the ride will help entice someone to come forward with more information.
“We shouldn’t have to do this. This is something that he (Jared Chance) should have automatically said ‘hey, this is what I did,’ apologize, and then it would be done,” Young said. “Any money we can raise we’ll give to someone who can lead us to my daughter.”
Young describes her daughter as a light who brought color and life to her world. She can’t understand why anyone would hurt her.
“Some people just don’t like bright lights and they have to put them out,” Young said. “If you had Ashley as a friend, you were so lucky.”
Friends, family and people who never met Ashley gathered in the parking lot of The Lakes Mall in Muskegon ahead of their lakeshore drive.
Young and Nelson are not bikers, but the family’s plea for help and donations made its way to DJ Brown, a man who has stepped up in similar situations.
“I organized a ride like this once before for the family of Jessica Heeringa (who was abducted from a Norton Shores gas station in 2013. Her body has never been found),” Brown said. “I wished I never had to do anything like this. But in today’s society, we have a need.”
Brown, himself a father, says he can’t possibly imagine what Ashley’s family is going through, especially considering the way things played out in court.
“He (Jared Chance) had a golden opportunity to take that plea bargain. He chose not to. I hope he gets life without parole,” Brown said. “He can go up to Marquette (Branch Prison) and rot. (Chance’s) Mom and dad in their situations, they can do the same. This should never have happened.”
Any money raised that goes unspent, the family says, will be paid forward. Either to another family in need or some other cause they deem worthy.
“It just goes to show how many lives she has touched,” Young said. “She could have continued touching too, and bringing her brightness and her kindness, but we need her home. We need that closure.”