NBC’s ‘Dateline: The Bridge’ is an installment that examines the harrowing 2014 disappearance and murder of 28-year-old James Allan Chambers II, a construction worker and lifeguard from Fayetteville, North Carolina. This case bewildered the officials due to lack of evidence for nearly four years, and even when they had a confession by Howard Ashleman, they couldn’t do much initially because there were no human remains. Despite this, in February 2018, Howard was arrested, and he pleaded guilty. So now that it’s been a while, let’s find out if James’ body has been located, shall we?
Has James Chambers’ Remains Been Found?
James Chambers was last seen alive at his home by a former girlfriend on August 15, 2014. According to her account, Howard Adrian Ashleman was also there, and she believed that he was the former’s ride to his weekend lifeguard job just outside the city. The duo knew each other pretty well since they worked together, yet there was also ongoing hostility between them for some reason. These feelings had nearly given way to arguments and physical altercations on a few occasions, and it all came to an end on that fateful summer evening, which Howard has since confessed to.
The enmity among James and Howard reached a new degree that day, so the latter pulled over, grabbed his gun, and fired, as per his statement. His aim was merely to threaten and intimidate James, Howard claimed, yet the bullet found its mark, struck, and killed him instead. From there, the young criminal went to great lengths to ensure that the authorities couldn’t catch him. Apart from getting rid of the materialistic evidence, he burned James’ body before burying it in Wade, Cumberland County, near where he lived.
However, when Howard recognized that the investigations into the matter wouldn’t be slowing down anytime soon, to be safe, he unearthed James’ remains, dismembered him, and placed those body parts in garbage bags before throwing them over a remote bridge and into the water. According to his confession, he doesn’t remember the exact location he disposed of James. Yet, reports suggest that because Howard’s 2018 plea agreement for second-degree murder specified that he had to lead detectives to the area, he named the vast Keener Road Bridge as the most probable location.
Unfortunately, even after about four years (seven in total), James’ remains have not been recovered, and thus, a hunt for him continues in North Carolina. From what we can tell, it seems like it’s mostly James’ parents and volunteers who’re at the front and center of this extensive search, and they are determined not to stop until he is found and laid to rest as he deserves. None of them are giving up hope because they can’t; they need the final closure. Even we hope that James’ body is located soon.
Read More: How Did James Chambers Die?