Ashley Parmeley: Pevely woman charged in son’s death; more charges being sought in daughter’s death

Ashley Parmeley
Ashley Parmeley

A 36-year-old woman named Ashley Parmeley has been charged after police said she admitted to fatally shooting one of her children and drowning another in Festus.

Ashley Parmeley faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of her 2-year-old son.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of Parmeley’s 9-year-old daughter and plans to seek additional charges with the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

During a press conference, Sheriff Dave Marshak of Jefferson County stated that the woman contacted the police from the parking lot of the Festus Police Department around 10:30 a.m.

She informed them that she had shot one of her children and drowned the other.

The woman was wet and “a little disheveled” when officers met her in the parking lot, Marshak said.

“This situation is a tragedy for our community. It’s a tragedy for the family and the victims and anybody that knows this family,” said Marshak.

When officers responded to the car, they found a 9-year-old girl inside with a gunshot wound.

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police recovered a firearm from the woman’s vehicle.

According to, Officials believe the child was shot in the 9000 Block of Highway in Bonne Terre at a private property in St. Francois County and then driven to the police department.

Marshak said the woman told police that she drowned the other child at a resort in the area. Officers responded to Timber Creek Resort which matched the woman’s description.

In a fountain in front of the resort, they found a 2-year-old boy unconscious and not breathing.

A deputy swam to the boy, brought him to shore and attempted life-saving treatment, but the child was pronounced dead a short time later.

Marshak could not confirm whether the woman was staying at the resort but said she was part of the Festus community.

“We take their well-being very seriously. The Sheriff’s Office immediately dispatched our mental health and crisis response team, along with chaplains, to support those officers and all the other first responders who were negatively impacted by this and will continue for some time. I spoke with one of the officers regarding the crime scene out here earlier, and he said, ‘Sheriff, this was a tough one,'” Marshak said.

Police believe the woman who admitted to killing the children was their mother. He said he believes the woman shot the 9-year-old before drowning the 2-year-old. The children’s names had not been released to the public.

Marshak said his department had originally been working to locate another child who the woman had once had custody of, and that child was later found safe.

He asked for prayers for the family, the victims, and the community.

“I know it’s impacting this community. I walked into a business earlier, and everybody was talking about it, saying it’s disruptive and it’s unsettling for our community. It’s such a tragedy,” Marshak said.

The children had both been “well and accounted for” Monday night and were both alive earlier in the morning, Marshak said.

Police have not released a motive yet.

Parmeley was being held at the Jefferson County Jail without bond.

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