Dateline NBC aired an investigation episode, “The Bridge,” into the murder case of James Chambers, on Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET.
The 28-year-old construction worker at Fort Bragg, disappeared in August 2014, as reported by The Fayetteville Observer.
The disappearance of James Chambers Fayetteville in 2014 resulted in numerous unsuccessful manhunts and a subsequent arrest, leaving the lingering mystery of James Chambers’ body’s location.
His last known sighting was by his former girlfriend at his residence in Fayetteville on the evening of August 15. Howard Adrian Ashleman, a co-worker, was also present during this time.
Following the investigation, Howard Ashleman was more than three years afterward, and he eventually admitted to committing second-degree murder.
Along with this, prosecutors also revealed that Ashleman fired Chambers in an attempt to scare him.
Afterward, he burned and buried the victim’s body, later retrieving it, dismembering it, and disposing of it in plastic garbage bags into the Cape Fear River.
Unfortunately, the authorities were unable to locate the remains.
James Chambers Obituary: Dateline Missing & Disappearance Case-Was He Found?
James Chambers Obituary: James Chambers disappeared on August 15, 2014, and investigators remained perplexed for three years.
Until one day, they obtained Howard Ashleman’s recorded confession from his wife, Hannah Jones.
Despite Ashleman’s arrest in February 2018, no human remains have been found, leaving the family still searching for James Chambers’ body to this day.
Since James Chambers’ disappearance in 2014, his parents, Pete Chambers and Rachel Wellhouser, have been actively searching for their son.
James Chambers was last seen at his residence on Coral Street, just before heading to his lifeguarding position at Lake Leamon in Wallace. Despite exhaustive efforts, his remains have eluded discovery ever since.
The Dateline NBC episode titled “The Bridge” delves into the 2014 murder case of James Chambers and is scheduled to air on January 21, 2024, at 8 p.m. EST.
The episode synopsis outlines the investigation as:
“North Carolina detectives search for answers in the murder of 28-year-old Fayetteville construction worker James Chambers; featuring interviews with James’ family members and investigators at the center of the case.”
James Allan Chambers II was a civilian construction worker at his father’s company, Chambers Concrete, located at Fort Bragg.
In addition to his construction job, he also served as a lifeguard at Lake Leamon, where he was reportedly heading on August 15.
On that day, Chambers returned home from his work at the construction company before he was scheduled to be at Lake Leamon.
His roommate, Brandi Sugrue, saw him at his residence on Carol Street before he left with his co-worker, Howard Adrian Ashleman.
According to Dateline NBC, Brandi assumed that James had been at his girlfriend’s place when he didn’t return home for days. Concerns grew as he also failed to show up at his workplace at the Lake.
However, it wasn’t until a week later, on August 24, that James Chambers’ family reported him missing to the Fayetteville Police Department, as stated in the press release.
James Chambers Obituary: Was James Chambers’ body ever found?
As the case grew colder, Pete Chambers and Rachel Wellhouser, James Chambers’ parents, enlisted the help of a private detective.
The detective contacted Reno Parks, a friend Howard Ashleman had encountered on the day of the incident.
Parks disclosed details of the crime to David Marshburn, the private investigator, but was unwilling to cooperate with the police.
According to Parks, Ashleman had allegedly shot Chambers to death as an intimidation tactic. The former then reportedly burned and buried the body in the woods behind his house.
As the investigation intensified, he purposefully retrieved the body, dismembered it, and disposed of it from a bridge into the Cape Fear River.
Collaborating for three years, the Fayetteville Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office successfully secured Howard Ashleman’s recorded confession.
Well, this achievement was facilitated with the assistance of his wife, Hannah Jones. Although the recording led to Ashleman’s arrest on February 12, 2018, in Randolph County, the body of James Chambers remained missing.
In pursuit of answers, James’s mother, Rachel Wellhouser, alongside her husband Dennis, travelled 20 hours from Texas to search the areas around Keener Road Bridge, where Ashleman had guided detectives as part of his plea deal.
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