Grieving Family Speaks Out

, Posted: Tue, February 21 2012 at 2:00 AM, Updated: Fri, February 24 2012 at 4:18 PM

Update 2/21/12: If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses, they have established a bank account for donations at Rogue Federal Credit Union under "Ashley Long."

 

A grieving family speaks out for the first time about the death of their 14 year-old daughter in East Medford over the weekend.  Ashley Long died at the house of a 27 year-old woman arrested for furnishing alcohol, helium and marijuana to teenagers.

Long's parents say it's a tragic accident that could have been prevented had she not been led astray by an adult who should have known better.  NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh reports.

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"I feel like the most important thing has been stolen from me and I can't get it back," says Loriann Earp, Ashley Long's mother.

Loriann Earp is still struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of her daughter, Ashley.

"She took my baby," she says.

While 27 year old Katherine Mcaloon has been charged with furnishing alcohol to minors in this East Medford home over the weekend, Mcaloon faces no charges for Ashley Long's death at this point.

"Someone needs to take responsibility.  I believe it's the person that went and picked my child up and other children and took them to her house," says Long's stepfather, Justin Earp.

Earp says he can't understand how it could happen.  In fact, he says, it could have happened to anyone's daughter.

He describes ashley  as a genuinely good kid, a gifted artist

who loved animals, fashion and Justin Bieber.  But also a teen who wanted to be liked and who made a mistake.  Ashley had told her parents she was going to a friend's house that Saturday night.

"She was going to be at a slumber party two blocks away to watch movies and eat popcorn," says her mother.

But instead, that group of Eagle Point middle-schoolers took a ride from 27 year-old Katherine Mcaloon, the sister-in-law of one of Ashley's friends.

"She showed up with alcohol.  Her friends told us they drank all the way back to Medford," says her grieving mother.

Had these parents known she was going to Mcaloons home, they say they would have stopped her.

Police say Ashley died after taking a hit of helium and drinking and smoking marijuana.  They tell NBC 5 News they believe the helium killed her, but the autopsy is not yet complete.

While hearing that devastates Ashley's mother, she doesn't blame her. She blames the adult who she says should have known better, Mcaloon.

 

"She needs to be put away for manslaughter."

A grieving family seeking answers.  They tracked down the other girls who were there and what they found out about that night left them horrified.

"What i'm not getting is how could she be giving these 14 year-olds drinks while there's 20 year-old men, probably predators, in the house," says her stepfather.

While they cannot bring Ashley back, her parents don't want Ashley's death to be in vain.

"I want kids to learn from this.  It took one time and she didn't get to come home."

Ashley's family is hoping to organize a non-profit called "Ashley's Hope" dedicated to creating awareness about the dangers of alcohol, helium, even peer pressure so that this won't happen to another child.  If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses, they have also established a bank account for Rogue Federal Credit Union under "Ashley Long."

 

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