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Missing Person: Ashley Flores

Netlore Archive: Chain emails and online postings seek help locating Ashley Flores, a 13-year-old girl allegedly missing in Philadelphia. It's a hoax.

Description: Hoax / Chain letter
Circulating since: May 2006
Status: False (see details below)


2012 example:
As posted on Facebook, April 2, 2012:

I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this msg on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. My 13 year old girl, Ashley Flores, is missing. She has been missing for two weeks It only takes 2 seconds to forward this. If it was your child, you would want all the help you could get. Louise Louw Tel: + 27 31 303 1001 Cell: + 27 82 509 6676 SFTBC


2006 example:
Email contributed by M.M., May 11, 2006:

Subject: Missing Girl from Philly

Please pass this to everyone in your address book.

We have a Deli manager (Acme Markets) from Philadelphia, Pa who has a 13 year old daughter who has been missing for 2 weeks.

Keep the picture moving on. With luck on her side she will be found.

"I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. My 13 year old girl, Ashley Flores, is missing. She has been missing for now two weeks. It is still not too late. Please help us. If anyone any where knows anything, please contact me at:

HelpfindAshleyFlores@yahoo.com

I am including a picture of her. All prayers are appreciated!! "

Ashley Flores missing

It only takes 2 seconds to forward this.

If it was your child, you would want all the help you could get.


Analysis: This is a hoax, circulating since May 2006. Neither the Philadelphia Police Department nor the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children lists a missing child by the name of Ashley Flores. No Amber Alert has ever been issued in her name.

Moreover, the forwarded email contains none of the critical details one would expect to find in a valid alert, namely a physical description of the missing person, the time and place of disappearance, and contact information. Another giveaway is the presence in the body of the message of several sentences copied word-for-word from previous "missing child" hoaxes (see Penny Brown and C.J. Mineo).

The Ashley Flores / MySpace connection

Though she hasn't really gone missing, it appears that Ashley Flores does exist, and lives in Philadelphia. By following hyperlinks associated with a version of the missing person alert posted on MySpace.com, I found an exact match (since deleted) for the image above in a photo gallery on Photobucket.com, along with several others (since deleted) uploaded by the same user featuring a young woman named Ashley who bears more than a passing resemblance to the girl pictured above.

The images were posted by someone using the screen name "Vixter609," whom I found blogging under the same alias on MySpace.com, with her given name listed as "Vicki," her age as 17, and her city of residence as Philadelphia.

When I contacted Vicki to ask what, if anything, she knew about Ashley Flores and her status as a "missing person," I received the following reply (reproduced verbatim):

ashley flores is not missing it was a merly a joke that got completely out of hand please imform everyone that e-mail that she is NOT missing it was a joke im sorry about any confusion

Subsequent inquiries went unanswered.


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News Updates:

'Weekly Press' Gets Punk'd
Philadelphia Will Do (blog), 1 June 2006

Missing Girl Hoax Spreads
Sydney Morning Herald, 28 June 2006

Rolla Missing Child Email Alert Is a Hoax
ConnectTriStates.com, 5 November 2008

Fake Amber Alert Spreading Throughout Utah
Deseret News, 10 February 2009

Rolla Police Change Number After False Amber Alert
KRCG-TV News, 16 October 2009

Missing Person Hoaxes Causing Problems
WLUK-TV News, 14 February 2010


Related:

Missing Child: Christopher John Mineo, Jr.
Netlore Archive, circulating since February 2001

Missing Child: Penny Brown
Netlore Archive, circulating since September 2001


Last updated: 05/02/12


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