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Crime & Courts

A timeline of Ashley Johnson-Barr’s disappearance

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: October 7, 2018
  • Published September 20, 2018

The death of Ashley Johnson-Barr, a 10-year-old girl from Kotzebue, has shocked the Northwest Arctic community.

On Thursday, a grand jury handed up an indictment against Peter Vance Wilson, 41, who has been accused of lying to the FBI.

Here, a timeline lays out what is known so far about Johnson-Barr's disappearance and the accusations against Wilson.

This timeline is based primarily on a federal affidavit by FBI Special Agent Michael Watson, supplemented by Daily News interviews this week in Kotzebue:

TIMELINE OF DISAPPEARANCE

September 6:

5:20 p.m.

• A woman described in the federal affidavit as "JJ" told law enforcement she and Peter Wilson were at JJ's mother's house, about a mile from Rainbow Park, throughout the day.

• Wilson was asked by JJ and her mother to pick up JJ's child and another child, (not Ashley). He left the house on a four-wheeler.

5:30 p.m.

• Ashley was last seen alive near Rainbow Park. She had her cellphone with her, and her parents tried calling multiple times. The phone rang but no one answered.

7:20 p.m.

• Wilson returns from the four-wheeler trip but has no children with him. JJ was upset he had been gone so long.

LATE NIGHT

• JJ and Wilson were at JJ's house, where Wilson sometimes stays. JJ heard a cellphone ringing repeatedly, and followed the sound to find a cellphone with Ashley's name on it in Wilson's jacket. JJ immediately contacted Ashley's mom, who told JJ that Ashley was missing.

• A woman who identified herself as Wilson's cousin told the Daily News Wilson had passed out while in possession of the phone.

• Ashley's father went to JJ's to get the phone, which was later turned over to Kotzebue police. Wilson told the father that he found the phone near the NANA building, near the intersection of Second and Third Avenue at 10:30 p.m.

September 7:

EARLY MORNING

• Wilson went to the Kotzebue Police Department, saying that he had heard police were looking for a girl named "Chelsea" or "Kelsie," and that he'd found "a phone" near the NANA building.

September 10:

• The FBI became involved in the investigation at the request of the Kotzebue police Department and Alaska State Troopers.

September 13:

• Wilson was interviewed by the FBI. He denied using a four-wheeler on Sept. 6 and denied knowing Ashley. Ashley's parents had previously said that Ashley and Wilson were relatives and knew each other.

• Wilson also denied seeing Ashley's name pop up on the cellphone, despite the fact that it was ringing.

September 14:

EARLY MORNING

• Investigators initiate a search of an area that GCI records showed her cellphone had traveled, about 2 miles east of downtown Kotzebue.

4:15 p.m.

• Ashley's body was found a quarter mile off the road in an area of tundra only accessible by four-wheeler or on foot. She was found dead in an area "concealed by thick alder and willow brush and a depression in the ground."

• The location, as identified by Kotzebue residents, is at least a 45-minute walk from where Ashley was last seen.

This timeline is based primarily on a federal affidavit by FBI Special Agent Michael Watson, supplemented by Daily News interviews this week in Kotzebue.

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