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August 10, 2022

Search warrant documents, obtained by the Lakeland Times, shed new light into what investigators uncovered Sunday at the scene of a double homicide at 1625 County Highway C in the town of Piehl. (Andy Hildebrand/River News)
Search warrant documents, obtained by the Lakeland Times, shed new light into what investigators uncovered Sunday at the scene of a double homicide at 1625 County Highway C in the town of Piehl. (Andy Hildebrand/River News)
3/12/2015 12:15:00 PM
Updated: Search warrant sheds light on double homicide
On Sunday morning, shortly after Oneida County's emergency dispatch center received three 9-1-1 hang ups from a cellphone, a call came in with a child on the line.

There was an emergency at her home, the child reported, but she did not know her address.

Dispatchers were able to trace the call to a residence in the eastern Oneida County town of Piehl, and directed a Three Lakes police officer to investigate.

He made a gruesome discovery: bodies of two deceased adults - one stabbed, the other with gunshot wounds - and what looked like blood strewn indoors and out.

The officer also located the child who called 9-1-1 and her two younger sisters, who did not appear physically harmed, before local and state law enforcement descended on the property.

That timeline, according to court documents filed Wednesday and obtained by The Lakeland Times, is the basic sequence of events of how authorities learned of the slayings in which Ashlee Martinson, a 17-year-old Rhinelander High School junior, is accused of killing her mother, Jennifer F. Ayers, 40, and stepfather, Thomas H. Ayers, 37.

On Sunday night, while investigators were still processing the scene, Martinson was arrested near Indianapolis with her boyfriend, 22-year-old Ryan D. Sisco, who is not a suspect.

Martinson has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of false imprisonment. She has not waived extradition back to Wisconsin, and will remain in custody without bail at least until a hearing in early April in Boone County, Indiana.

Key details of the case have yet to be publicly released, but the records obtained by the newspaper offer the clearest picture to date of how police responded and what they found.

Search warrant documents show investigators located the bodies inside the one-and-a-half story home in different places, with one body in the upper level and another body on a set of stairs.

What appeared to be part of a skull bone was also discovered in an upstairs hallway.

Suspected blood was identified throughout the home - in a downstairs bathroom, on a kitchen counter, on a stairway, in an upstairs hallway - and outside the residence.

Multiple bloody objects were also observed. In a bathroom, police found apparent blood and hair on a folding knife atop a counter next to a sink. On the floor of the bathroom, a black stocking cap also appeared to have blood and hair on it. Numerous bandage wrappers and a needle were found in a bathroom garbage can along with a shell casing.

In the basement under a laundry chute, investigators identified possible bloodstains on material, including a torn pair of pink and black jeans, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black long-sleeve shirt with a white skull graphic on the front, and a towel.

On Martinson's bed, there was a broken necklace containing possible blood. In the kitchen garbage, investigators discovered an Apple iPhone with suspected bloodstains. And in the dining room, a TV remote appeared to be bloodied.

Multiple weapons were located including a shotgun on the floor of Martinson's bedroom, a rifle in the kitchen and a bloody knife.

Several other rifles were found - some in a gun cabinet - as well as a pellet gun, handgun, ammunition, hunting knives and a broken metal knife.

A North Dakota Game and Fish Department Gun Certificate card in the name of Ashlee Martinson was discovered, as was a hunting license for Jennifer Ayers.

Investigators also seized numerous writings and drawings in Martinson's bedroom, including:

• Two drawings and a poster on her wall.

• Small hand-written notes in a black duffle bag in a closet.

• A cardboard box containing a journal with writings, a hand-written note to Martinson from someone and an envelope addressed to Martinson containing a piece of paper with drawings and writings.

• Writings, drawings and a sketchbook in a corner of the room.

Also discovered in Martinson's bedroom: two transaction receipts from a convenience store dated Saturday - the day the alleged homicides occurred. One of the receipts is a balance inquiry and the other is a checking withdrawal for $60. The time is listed as "9:00"; it is unclear as to whether that refers 9 a.m. or 9 p.m.

In the kitchen, authorities found a notebook with writings and documents about "a wrongful death of Angela Ayers" and a typed document containing "rules for Ashlee to follow."

(Police have declined to comment about who Angela Ayers is and the materials referencing her.)

Multiple computers were also seized.

Timeline clarified

In an affidavit attached to a search warrant, Terri Hook, a captain in the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, said one of the children at the scene told a detective that Martinson had "killed her parents" and then locked the three young children - Martinson's siblings - in a room.

Those events had occurred on Saturday, the child said, but she had not been able to locate a phone to call authorities until Sunday.

Hook's affidavit also contains information from people who were not at the scene.

In an interview with a detective, Martinson's boss, a manager at a Rhinelander retail store, reported that Martinson did not show up for work on Saturday.

A police officer also spoke with a 17-year-old female who said she is "very good friends" with Martinson. That teenager said she had received a call at 5:47 p.m. on Saturday from Martinson. The friend reported that Martinson "told her she had to go to Kansas for a funeral so she would not be able to move in with (the friend) as they had planned on March 8, 2015.

What that statement means and its significance to the case has yet to be explained, and indeed, answers to many questions remain elusive: What motivated the killings? Were there prior instances of physical violence? What will happen to the three young children?

For now, the family mourns. A memorial service for Thomas Ayers has been scheduled for later this month in Colorado, and according to an obituary in a Kansas newspaper, a private gathering will be held for Jennifer Ayers.

Jonathan Anderson may be reached at janderson@lakelandtimes.com.

Related Stories:
• Updated: Teen accused of killing parents held without bond
• Complaint: Teen killed mom, stepfather (UPDATE)
• UPDATE: Double homicide leaves Piehl residents on edge



Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Article comment by: Jeannine Olson

I worked Friday night with Ashlee, her character was completely different than normal. She would normally walk around slow and completely quiet. This Friday evening she was smiling and acting excited. She was talking to a guy and not working and I confronted her severl times about this issue. I finally told the young man he had to leave, he explained he was her ride, I told him he had to come back or wait up front so he went up front had a seat til she was done. Just my opinion this was all premeditated.



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