WEST DES MOINES, Iowa | West Des Moines police say they are no closer today to solving the mysterious slaying of Ashley Okland, a 27-year-old real estate agent whose shooting death four years ago in a model townhouse made national news.
Police Sgt. Brent Kock said the case is still considered an “active investigation,” and the department continues to follow up on leads from citizens and the anonymous crime tip line.
But police have received few leads since The Des Moines Register reported in April 2014 that detectives had followed up on 781 leads and interviewed about 400 people in the slaying.
“I’m disappointed that nothing has happened,” said Tim Okland, Ashley’s father. “It would be nice to have some closure and know why it happened.”
Okland was an employee of Iowa Realty Co. and grew up in Huxley. Those who knew her said she had no enemies and was known for her radiant smile and outgoing nature.
On April 8, 2011, a Rottlund Homes employee heard a commotion inside the model townhouse at 558 Stone Creek Court and went to investigate, according to IowaColdCases.org. Inside, the worker discovered Okland on the floor, shot twice, and called 911.
Medics rushed her to the Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, where she later died.
In October 2014, West Des Moines police thought a man being investigated in Arkansas for killing a real-estate agent near Little Rock might be connected to Okland’s slaying.
But Kock said Arron Michael Lewis, 33, of Jacksonville, Ark., is no longer considered a possible suspect. He is accused of setting up an appointment with the Arkansas Realtor to view a vacant house in a rural area, and then killing her and leaving her body in a shallow grave.
In May 2014, Ashley Okland Star Playground, a specialized park for handicapped children, opened in her name.
“She was a member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters and passionate about helping children,” Tim Okland said.