A body discovered in the back of a U-Haul truck in Fullerton, CA on Wednesday was identified as missing woman Ashley Manning. The 29-year-old California resident was reported missing two months ago by her family after they didn’t hear back from her following a flight. This comes at the heels of multiple missing women who still have not been found across the country.
According to police, Manning’s body was wrapped in plastic and cardboard when employees found her in the process of clearing out a truck that had to be towed back to the storage facility after not being returned on time. Her cause of death has not yet been determined; however, police are treating the case as if it were a homicide pending further information. It is also unknown at this time exactly how long Manning’s body had been in the U-Haul.
The vehicle was rented from a facility in Anaheim, CA, police spokesperson Sgt. Shane Carringer told CNN. When the vehicle was not returned, the company tracked it down where it was found with an expired lease before it was towed back to the U-Haul facility to be inventoried and emptied. Carringer added that detectives have the rental history of the vehicle, but are not releasing it at this time. “The circumstances of discovering her are absolutely suspicious,” Carringer said.
In a statement to Refinery29, Carringer assured that homicide detectives have remained focused on Manning's case since her body was discovered. "Although we have not declared this to be a homicide, we continue to work it as if it could be, Carringer said. "Our efforts are focused on collecting and analyzing evidence as well as contacting anyone with information about Ms. Manning or her death."
Manning’s family reported her missing to the Los Angeles Police Department in November after they lost contact with her. According to a Facebook post from Manning’s sister, the last time her family heard from her was on November 13 when she got on a plane from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport headed for Los Angeles International Airport.
“We have confirmation that she made it to LAX and are working with police to pull video footage to see what car she got into,” her sister wrote. After not hearing from her after she landed, her family reported her missing. Manning's sister, Taylor, continued to post prayers and wishes for her sister's safe return back home throughout the past two months.
On Friday, Manning’s sister confirmed her death in a now-deleted Facebook post. “As a family we are trying to navigate this tragedy and this extremely hard time,” the post read.
As of now, no suspects have been reported. An autopsy and toxicology report are underway, but results that could determine Manning’s cause of death could take weeks to be processed.
This is an ongoing story. We will update it as we know more.