A mysterious, unsolved murder almost a decade cold.

During the summer of 2009, Ashleigh Love lived the life of a typical 19-year-old: miniature golf with friends, Brewers games at Miller Park, silly photos in front of fountains, grinning selfies. Ashleigh had just graduated from Pius XI High School, the Catholic high school on 76th Street known for its strong arts programs, and had taken a job at Arby’s — a position she enjoyed, her mother says — while figuring out her life’s next chapter. “Ashleigh was the sweetest, kindest person in the world,” says Tammy Love of her brown-haired, brown-eyed daughter. “She would do anything for anyone.” 

On Oct. 6, 2009, a man wearing a bandanna entered the Loves’ house near 64th Street and Hampton Avenue, walked into Ashleigh’s second-floor bedroom and fatally shot her in the face. The commotion awoke Tammy, who spotted the man running through the backyard holding a long gun. He was clad in a dark jacket and had dark, spiked hair.

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Milwaukee police don’t believe she was targeted at random, and a few weeks after the murder, detectives asked for the public’s help in finding a man they believed Ashleigh Love could have met online, someone whose identity was unknown to her friends and family. It was their only lead. Detectives still working on the case believe that while only one suspect entered the house, “there is the possibility that others are involved,” says MPD spokesman Tim Gauerke.

Despite periodic tips from the public, more than 3,000 days have passed without a significant new lead in the case, though Tammy Love believes someone learned after the murder who killed her daughter. She hopes that person will have the courage, she says, “to bring us the piece we need to end this hunt for a killer.”

‘Unsolved Mysteries & Hidden History’ appeared in the May 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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