DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA – The brutal murder of a young pregnant woman is shocking enough, but the news hit a local homeless shelter especially hard. That’s because the people there had tried to save her from a life on the streets.
Police say Ashley Mays, 20, died in a DeKalb hotel last November after advertising on Backpage.com.
“We try so hard with these kids and we try to help them,” Covenant House Georgia’s Executive Director Allison Ashe told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne about the news of May’s murder. “I mean, it broke my heart.”
The murder has deeply affected the staff and youth at the homeless shelter, where Mays twice checked herself in for help.
Ashe described her as, “a beautiful young woman full of light and love. She was incredibly outgoing, incredibly charismatic.”
But the young mother, pregnant with her second child, struggled to make a way, and was lured back to the street.
An indictment charges Terique Hall with Mays’ murder and more.
A courthouse contact says Mays had fallen into prostitution. Hall contacted her through her Backpage.com ad to buy sex in order to attack Mays, but we’re told allegations surfaced in court that Hall also arranged to buy sex from two other women he attacked in DeKalb. Those women survived.
Hall tried to video tape himself suffocating the hog-tied Mays in her room at Quality Inn and Suites outside Lithonia, the prosecutor said.
With zip ties binding her hands and feet, Ashley Mays drew her last breath in that hotel room.
Mays died Nov. 18.
Police believe she was suffocated with a pillow.
Mays was nearly four months pregnant. The fetus didn’t survive, police confirmed Thursday.
Hall, who was arrested after police released hotel security camera photos purporting to show him, has remained in the DeKalb jail without bond since late November.
Hall’s lawyer says Hall plead not guilty to all counts.
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