Sergeant believes he knows who killed Wendy in 1980 - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Sergeant believes he knows who killed Wendy in 1980

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

An unsolved murder in Memphis that dates back to 1980 has Memphis police Sgt. Bill Ashton looking over facts and hoping new evidence will lead to an arrest.

Eighteen-year-old Wendy Wilborn left  her Frayser home to hang out with friends. She would never be seen alive again.

Her case may have been forgotten by some but not one officer who refuses to quit.

The old cliche "a parent's worst nightmare" became a painfully reality for the Wilborn family. Their daughter's innocent rebellion played into the hands of a killer, who has never been caught.

The case troubles Sgt. Ashton. He's professional when talking about it, but you get a sense solving this case maybe personal for him as well.

"This case has haunted me for 17 years," he said.


If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Sgt. Ashton only needs a few to describe why he can't forget Wendy.

"Those eyes. Every day that came in, those eyes would look down at you and they were saying, 'help me, help me find my killer,'" Sgt. Ashton said.

In late may of 1980, Wendy snuck out of her parents house in Frayser at night to meet friends just around the corner. She told them her next stop was to meet someone named Bobby.

It was the last time anyone see her alive.

June of 1980, two men find a badly decomposed body and call police. The victim was nude.

Wendy had braces. Using dental records the medical examiner identified the body as that of the missing 18-year-old. She had died from a blow to head.

"She was completely naked," Sgt. Ashton said. "Her clothes violently removed from her. Some type of sexual assault."

Detectives interviewed the man named Bobby who Wendy was suppose to meet.
"They even had him hypnotized but under hypnosis they were still not able to get anything out of him," the police detective said.

Seventeen years working homicide and Sgt. Ashton believes he knows who the killer is and where he lives. New information, new leads and new witness could help him make an arrest.

"I am hoping someone will come forward and give me the ... I think it can be solved," he said.

Sgt. Ashton said Wendy's mother called him only a few years ago to tell him that she has not given up hope.

Neither has he.

If you know anything about the death of Wendy you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH. The right tip could lead to a cash reward.

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