Dateline: Secrets Uncovered is investigating the murder of Ashlea Ann Harris, a store worker from Forth Worth, Texas, who was murdered by former colleagues Carter Cervantez and Clarence “David” Mallory.
The 31-year-old Harris was an assistant manager at an American Eagle store at Forth Worth’s Hulen Mall. She had worked late into the night on Thanksgiving Day 2014 to prepare the store for the Black Friday sales and didn’t return home to her apartment until after 4 a.m. on November 28.
A few hours later, a downstairs neighbor heard a scream, a heavy thud, and labored breathing. The neighbor’s carbon dioxide detectors went off, and water from fire sprinklers started coming through his ceiling.
The same neighbor also spotted a black, two-door Infiniti G35 without headlights leaving the parking space in front of Harri’s apartment.
Forth Worth firefighters soon responded to multiple calls of a fire at Harris’s apartment. When the first responders arrived on the scene, they found human remains lying at the foot of her bed.
Harris’s ankles and wrists had been bound with duct tape, and she had suffered blunt force trauma to her face and head. There were also strangulation marks around her throat.
Carter Cervantez and Clarence Mallory murdered and stole from Ashlea Harris
The cops soon learned the killers had stolen Harris’s keys to the American Eagle store, which included the keys to the safe.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
The killers had tried to destroy the evidence by using rubbing alcohol to burn down the apartment.
Investigators questioned Harris’s coworkers and first learned about Cervantez and Mallory. Cervantez had been an assistant manager at Harris’s store, and her boyfriend Mallory had also worked there.
However, the pair were dismissed in August 2014 after about $17,000 went missing from the store safe. The couple were not reported to the police at the time, but they were strongly suspected of being the thieves.
Harris’s coworkers also informed the cops that Cervantez drove a black, two-door Infiniti G35.
The couple were put under surveillance, and they both arrived at the Hulen Mall on November 29, the day after Black Friday. The store had approximately $50,000 in cash following the Black Friday sale, and the cops suspect Cervantez and Mallory may have hoped to steal the money.
Clarence Mallory and Carter Cervantez convicted of capital murder in Ashlea Harris case
The killer couple were thwarted when the police intercepted Mallory and demanded to know why he was at the mall. He invented a story about waiting for his girlfriend to finish work.
Cervantez and Mallory were officially arrested and charged with murder a week later. They were tried separately, but both were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Dateline: Secrets Uncovered airs Thursday at 8/7c on Oxygen.