Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Parents plead for public's help in search for their daughter's killer

TAMPA — When Ashley Atherley's husband moved their family from Hillsborough County to California a year ago, he sold Ashley's car and took her away from her friends and family.

It was a sign of control, Ashley's family says — an ominous act of isolation months before, police say, Edly Atherley, 29, would murder his wife.

On Thursday, Ashley's family and friends gathered in Tampa to plead for the public's help in their search for the killer. San Bernardino, Calif. police have put out a warrant for Edly Atherley's arrest on murder. They say he stabbed his 28-year-old wife to death in his home about a month after she left him.

Police found her on Dec. 1. The couple had two daughters together, ages 2 and 5.

Ashley's family say Edly Atherley has ties to the Tampa Bay area, as well as Port Charlotte, Fla., Texas, California and Belize.

"We need justice for our daughter," Ashley's mother, Lucia Robles, said. "He took everything from us."

Ashley was born in Hillsborough, grew up in Valrico and attended Bloomingdale High School. She taught dance and wanted to be a high school history teacher.

She had just received her associate's degree and was planning to attend the University of South Florida, her mother said. Then, Edly Atherley decided the family would move.

Ashley's parents never liked Edly. Though Ashley did not admit it, they knew he was emotionally and physically abusing her.

Robles sent her daughter website links with information about domestic violence. She told her to assemble a packet of important documents so she could flee at a moment's notice.

Ashley finally did leave him in October. But that can be the most dangerous time, explained Mindy Murphy, the director of The Spring of Tampa Bay, a domestic violence shelter.

Murphy recommends that victims reach out to their local shelter to devise a safe plan for leaving, which takes into account each person's unique circumstances.

Edly Atherley's criminal history includes a November 2008 charge of domestic violence in Hillsborough County. In 2005, he was arrested on a domestic battery charge in Charlotte County, according to state records.

Asked if he had a message for Edly Atherley, Ashley's father, Scott Hall did:

"Put up a fight," he said. "I want him taken dead. I know a lot of people don't want to hear that. But I don't want to see him get a fair trial."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Seek help

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the Spring of Tampa Bay's hotline at (813) 247-7233.

Parents plead for public's help in search for their daughter's killer 12/12/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  2. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Chris Archer has made a name for himself on the mound. And at a time when some athletes work to steer clear of any issue with a tint of controversy for fear it could damage their brand, Archer has used that platform to weigh in on some topical social, political and news events.

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings


    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee
  4. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  5. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.