Investigators remain stumped three years after a young woman was murdered while working as a realtor at an open house in West Des Moines. Ashley Okland was just 27 years old when she killed on April 8, 2011. West Des Moines Police Sergeant Ken O’Brien says the case remains a top priority for the department. “You never think you’re going to get what we would call a ‘who done it’ case, but we prepare for that,” O’Brien says. “We start out from the very beginning handling these kind of cases in that fashion, so if it does, we’re prepared for the long haul.”
Two detectives are still assigned to the active investigation, combing through old leads and evidence. “To date, we’ve had 781 leads and have had over 575 contacts with individuals in our data base,” O’Brien says. “We’ve executed a number of search warrants, but have no arrest made.”
A reward of up to $150,000 is available for information leading to an arrest. “We’re very much looking for the public’s help,” O’Brien says. Investigators say they haven’t ruled out anything, but are fairly certain the suspect is someone who Ashley knew. The Iowa Realty agent was shot twice while working at a model townhouse. It’s believed the shooting happened shortly before 2 p.m.
Ashley Okland graduated from Ballard High School in 2002 before attending the University of Northern Iowa. After two years at UNI, Okland transferred to Iowa State University and graduated in 2006.