Two of New England's most troubling cold cases and the tangled web that attaches them. It all begins with the killing of a 15-year-old high school student.
Lise Ouellette's daughter Ashley's life was cut tragically short in 1999, a horrible murder case that remains officially unsolved.
But now, the mysteries that began on a dark winter morning just might be explained in the light of day.
Saco, Maine, just outside of Portland, is your naturally beautiful New England town. And Ashley Ouellette was your normal 15-year-old girl.
When Ashley said her mother if she could spend a night at a friend's home, there was no cause for worry.
At just after 10 p.m. on February 9, 1999, Lise received a goodnight call from Ashley, the last messages she ever heard from her daughter.
Six hours later, at almost exactly 4 a.m., a man driving home from his job discovers something in the road ahead. As he gets near, he knows, to his horror, it's a dead teenage girl. It's Ashley Ouellette, choked to death, with her neck broken.
How did Ashley get from the protection of a friend's sleepover to the tough cold asphalt of Pine Point road in a near town almost 10 miles away?
It doesn't take long to piece together the last limited hours of Ashley's night. The timeline starts at 10 p.m., simply after her goodnight call to her mom. Ashley and her sleepover friends are joined by a few fellows from school. And Ashley's mom explains she was informed one of the boys was named Jay Carney.
"So the girls let them in and the girls began chatting and then they told they were heading up to the Sanborn home," told Lise Ouellette. The house of Earl and Muriel Sanborn. Their boys, Steven and Danny, are also Ashley's classmates.
"I think she liked to be with Steven," said Lise. "I believe she had a crush on him but I don't believe she was ever involved with him, and that's the point, she wished to see Steven that night, from what the girls said."
According to a friend, Ashley waited at the Sanborns' home while the other girls left home.
What goes on next depends on who you ask.
The Sanborn boys and their parents have said to police that Ashley was given a place to sleep on their couch. But they declare she left on her own after they all moved to the bed. It's about 10 miles from the Sanborn home to Ashley's home.
Police are doubtful and get a search warrant for the Sanborn residence and Daniel's car. They wish to understand what happened at the Sanborns'.
According to published news documents, authorities obtain what seem to be spots of blood and proof of sexual activity from the Sanborn residence.
They also seize Danny Sanborn's car. They discover patches of dry brown grass similar to grass discovered on Ashley's corpse.
Raising even more suspicion, Danny can't maintain his story straight. In a statement, he first tells he went to school that morning; later, Danny rewrites his story and says to police that he spent the day at the beach.
To Ashley's family, that's the motive for doubt. But it's not enough for authorities to make a charge. Authority won't name a suspect.
Despite Ashley's mother's assumptions, Danny Sanborn rejects any involvement and has never been arrested in connection with Ashley's killing. He and his brother Steven, along with his parents, have been interviewed by the police several times, and they've never been arrested for any crime either.
Crime Watch Daily did confirm Danny Sanborn does have a big rap sheet. He's been sentenced to an attack on a police officer and spent three years in jail, after being arrested for heroin possession with a plan to distribute.
The Maine State Police calls this a clear, ongoing, and confidential inquiry, and will not comment at this time. But there is one individual who declares he understands who did it.
The man who could explain the murder mystery disappeared.
As cops continue the search for Ashley Ouellette's murderer, another family starts the investigation for their missing son. And the two cases would cross paths.
Ashley was choked to death and her neck was reportedly smashed. Then, someone dumped her corpse on an empty road in Saco, Maine before sunrise on a cold February morning.
In the tangled web of story and fear. There's one young man who tells he understands for sure who did it. But this horrendous secret would vanish with him three months later.
Tony Torres was a popular, strong young man from the region who had moved to Massachusetts for college.
"He was a nice son who always made time for family," told Narciso Torres, Tony's dad. "His last trip residence was no unusual. He came to love his mom on Mother's Day, and it was just like any other holiday. Informing us how he was doing in school, and life appeared good for him."
Tony also never lost an opportunity to hang out with his high school friends back residence.
That spring break, the party chat around the region was consumed with who murdered Ashley Ouellette. Everybody in the small town was speaking about it. One night at residence with his parents, Tony drops a scary revelation about her killing.
"He didn't say us who but he told he understands who did it, and he told it in a way that he left no question," explained Narciso Torres.
"We were in the living room watching the TV and the news of Ashley Ouellette came up and he shortly said 'I know who murdered her. I remembered the people who murdered her,'" said Narciso.
"And I advised him: 'You're either going to go to the authority with this evidence or you're going to keep your mouth shut, but be careful who you share this with,'" told Narciso.
"At the time I didn't understand how much to think that he realized and the little bit of, a little part of me worried for him. Because you understand, witnesses can be muted. I wish I could go back now and pick him up by his shirt and tell 'We're going to the authority right now,'" told Narciso. "But I didn't perform that."
Tony's father was right to be worried. Three months after Ashley's killing, Tony mysteriously disappears.
Tony's parents shared with Crime Watch Daily the timeline of that night as said to them by authority.
At 2 a.m., Tony is drinking at his ex-girlfriend's flat. A close buddy of the Sanborns, Jay Carney, was also there.
Tony and Carney leave together for a shop on the corner. A quick time later Carney arrives back alone. Tony is never noticed again.
Jay Carney is the same man who reportedly gave Ashley a lift to the Sanborns the night she was killed.
Tony has been missing for seventeen years. He was declared dead in 2004, but his corpse has never been found. His family thinks there's a connection between Ashley's killing and Tony's disappearance.
Carney expired from a drug overdose last year.
Both Ashley's killing and Tony's disappearance are open and active cases, and Maine State Police will not say anything about either one of them right now.
Maine State Police are no longer speaking. Both inquiries are still open, but authorities are not releasing any records.
Nobody has ever been arrested for either crime.