Real Estate Agent’s Murder Investigation Still Open 10 Years Later

West Des Moines Police said they’ve worked almost 900 tips in this case over the last decade.

April 12, 2021
Photo of real estate agent Ashley Okland [via the West Des Moines Police Department Facebook page]

Photo of real estate agent Ashley Okland [via the West Des Moines Police Department Facebook page]

Photo of real estate agent Ashley Okland [via the West Des Moines Police Department Facebook page]

By: Michelle Sigona

On April 8, 2011, real estate agent Ashley Okland was gunned down, and investigators are still searching for her killer. Police say the 27-year-old was hosting an open house at a model townhome in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reports say a colleague heard commotion on the property and when the witness went inside, they found Okland’s body.

West Des Moines Sgt. Jason Bryan told KCCI, "We are doing everything we can to solve the case. It is not in a file cabinet where it's not going to get looked at. It's on the detective's desk.” Reports say over these years detectives have interviewed approximately 500 people.

Josh Okland, Ashley’s brother, also spoke out to the station saying, "It's hard at times not knowing, but that's not what we focus on. That's not what I focus on. It's unhealthy to sit and think that way. If you let yourself think that way then you're going to start looking at people differently and thinking differently.”

According to Okland’s obituary, she was living with her “Hun” Eric and brand new puppy, Indi. Okland was involved in many charities in the area and she began her career with the JDR Group in 2007 and became a real estate agent in Iowa in 2010.

The West Des Moines Police said there is a large reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.“Investigators are confident that someone has crucial knowledge about the time leading up to her death and the identities of those involved,” police posted on their Facebook page.

A few years after Okland’s murder, the Ashley Okland Star Playground to help children with disabilities was built in her honor. Susan Hatten, who was Okland’s good friend said, “It caters to children of every ability, whether they have special needs or not, and she would have loved that.”

As for keeping Okland’s memory alive within her family, Josh Okland adds it is a high priority, "It's important for me that my kids know who she was because she played a big part in my life and I want that for them.”

If you know anything about this case or suspect, please contact Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa by calling 515-223-1400 or 800-452-1111, or by submitting your tip online.

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