LANCASTER, Pa. - Ashley Kline was brutally murdered the very night she went missing, police said.
Kline was assaulted, stabbed multiple times and then set on fire while she was still alive, said police, adding that the motive is still unclear, especially after one of the suspects was a close family friend.
"I was just totally dumbfounded," said Ashley Kline's father, Michael Kline. "How can anybody do that, plan something like that on a person they know so well?"
Kline's grieving father is still trying to understand how anyone could hurt his 23-year-old daughter.
Adam Lynch, 21, of Reading and Ryan Schannauer, 19, of Spring Township, picked up Ashley at her home in Robesonia on Dec. 30, police said.
Investigators said they assaulted her, stabbed her multiple times, then doused her with gasoline and set her on fire while she was still alive.
"Obviously, this is a particularly vicious and gruesome crime and we have a job to make sure that justice is done," said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.
Ashley's father told us what is even more disturbing is that the Schannauers were close family friends and they spent a lot of time together as their children were growing up.
"His mother called me this morning saying how sorry she was and that she did not know anything about it. She was just terribly upset about the whole thing, and I believe her," said Kline.
Lynch and Schannauer were charged with homicide, arson and abuse of a corpse, since they returned to the scene and re-burned the body on Jan. 8, police said. They are also facing conspiracy charges because police said they had a knife and gasoline can with them.
Lynch was previously charged with robbery, theft, simple assault and criminal mischief in 2011. The only charges Schannauer ever faced were possession of drug paraphernalia in 2012.
Police said they still have a long road ahead with the prosecution and still ask for the public's help in providing any additional information about this case.
Allentown, PA 18102