Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, with the victim's grieving mother at her side, said Monday that a man has been charged with the murder of a 24-year-old east Kansas City woman.
Ashley Geddes was discovered dead in her bedroom by her mother on June 1.
The suspect is 25-year-old Cedrick Russell, who lived next door to the victim on east 45th Place. Russell is also charged with sodomy, burglary, stealing and other offenses.
“My daughter, Ashley Geddes, was an intelligent, caring, loving, beautiful person inside and out. She would have helped anybody with anything,” said an emotional Stacy Gicante at a news conference in the prosecutor's office. “I need prayers that this man is convicted for the rest of his life.”
Baker says Russell was a suspect almost from the beginning of the case. In fact, detectives interviewed him during a canvass of the neighborhood the day the body was discovered.
Police saw no signs of forced entry into the townhome but found several jewelry boxes on the bedroom floor. "One of the boxes was open and empty and other boxes were opened and appeared to have been rummaged through," according to court documents. Geddes' car was also missing.
“The DNA was the real break for us but along with that, reports of finding her car, reports of her jewelry being pawned. Those are all things that brought us back to the same person and that was the next door neighbor in this case,” says Baker.
Ashley Geddes was a singer, a model and taught Sunday school, according to her mother.
So far this year there have been 65 murders in Kansas City. Ashley Geddes was number 52. “Miss Geddes was a beautiful young woman, but she’s representative of others that we want to seek justice for them too. So, while it’s hard, hard is what we do,” Peters Baker says.