VANCOUVER, Wash. — The mystery of a Vancouver woman who disappeared in early 2018 has now been solved, the Vancouver Police Department announced on Wednesday. The remains of Ashanti Conde were found in September and her identity has since been confirmed.
Conde's family reported her missing on March 11, 2018, after they had not seen her for several weeks. According to VPD, the investigation revealed Conde had last been seen on February 22 in Brush Prairie.
At the time of the last sighting, the 27-year-old Conde was with a man named Michael Conley. Vancouver police said that Conley was reported missing even before Conde, on February 27.
Conley and Conde were spotted leaving Brush Prairie in a Cadillac Sedan. It was the last time they were seen alive.
Skamania County Sheriff's Office reports included witness statements that a Cadillac sedan was seen crashed in a rural area of Skamania County just north of Dougan Falls two days later, on February 24. Witnesses said that the vehicle was covered in snow, but no one appeared to be in the vehicle.
Searchers found Conley's body near the Cadillac on March 9, 2018, with "no signs of foul play" observed. Though Clark County Search and Rescue crews looked around the vehicle, they did not find Conde.
"Multiple tips were received throughout the investigation that proved fruitless and multiple searches were conducted in a variety of locations throughout SW Washington," Vancouver police said.
Skamania and Clark County search teams returned to the area on September 26, 2021 — more than three years later. This time, searchers found human remains in a "very rugged and steep area" near where the Cadillac had been found.
The remains were sent to a private lab for positive identification. Confirmation did not come until March 31 of this year, when Vancouver police were notified by the lab that the remains belonged to Ashanti Conde.
“She was just the most amazing person,” said Conde’s stepmother, Yolanda Conde-Turner. “We love that we have closure now but at the end of it we all wanted something different.”
Family members said Conde leaves behind four children — the youngest just 4 years old. They also shared that Conde had been involved with prostitution, a decision that led to pain and worry, but never stood in the way of their love for her.
“There's no reason why your life can't be made whole again,” said Conde’s sister, Alysia Wentworth. "The ones who have been sex-trafficked and made it through, that is the best thing. You can still start your life over.”
Loved ones are raising money to cover funeral costs for Conde.
With her remains recovered and identified, VPD said that it has closed the missing person case involving Conde.
Details regarding Conde's death are being handled separately, by the Skamania County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Skamania County Coroner’s Office.