ROBESONIA TWP., Pa. - A Berks County family is devastated upon learning that a body found in Lancaster County over the weekend is that of its missing loved one.
Ashley Kline disappeared two weeks ago, and late Monday night, officials confirmed that the body found in Clay Township on Sunday was her. The coroner ruled her death a homicide.
69 News spoke with Kline's family a few hours before officials confirmed the body was hers. At that point, the family was holding out hope that Kline was still alive.
"You just can't let it go. She's been a big part of all our lives for 23 years, and we expect to be here for forever, but she's not," said Michael Kline, Ashley's father.
Speaking before he knew his daughter was dead, Kline said he would be heartbroken if the found body was his daughter's.
"It would be very devastating to me. I would be grief stricken and angry at whoever did it," he explained.
Kline, 23, went missing from her home in Robesonia, Berks Co., on Dec. 30. She was walking to a friend's house, but she never made it.
"She's never done anything like this before. She's a really good kid. She's really trusting, and maybe that was her downfall," said her father.
He said Ashley had the mental capacity of a 15 year-old because she had lead poisoning as a child, but he said she was a loving and responsible young woman.
Initially, police conducted an investigation in Adamstown because her purse was found in the area, but then the body turned up in the Middle Creek Waterfowl Refuge in Clay Township on Sunday.
Officials said she suffered significant trauma. .
"It's really been hard on everybody because everybody really missed Ashley and we were expecting Ashley to come home any day and she hasn't," said Michael Kline.
Police haven't yet said exactly how Kline was killed, but they said the focus is now shifting to identifying and finding the person responsible for her death.