Woman Accused Of Murdering Pregnant Mother Of Three To Steal Her Unborn Baby
On Oct. 31, 2022, Ashley Bush was eagerly awaiting the birth of her fourth child when she was kidnapped and murdered by a woman who offered her baby clothes and promised to drive her to a job interview.
Ashley Boone Bush was a 33-year-old mother of three who was pregnant with her fourth child when she was kidnapped and murdered by a woman who police believe intended to steal her baby.
42-year-old Amber Waterman started a fake online persona of “Lucy Burrows” to lure expectant mothers with promises of baby clothes, reported PEOPLE. She first met Ashley Bush, a resident of Benton County, Arkansas, at a public library in late October after she had offered her baby clothes. After “Lucy” gave her the clothes, they discussed a possible employment opportunity.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Amber — then going by “Lucy” — lured Bush to meet her for a second time with the promise of driving her to a job interview in Bentonville, Arkansas. On Oct. 31, 2022, Bush’s fiancé drove her to meet “Lucy” at a convenience store in Maysville, Arkansas.
Later that day, he got a message to pick her up at the same store. However, while he was waiting for her to arrive, he saw the two women drive by without stopping. Bush was in the passenger’s seat of the pickup truck being driven by the woman he knew as “Lucy”.
Bush’s fiancé was concerned and tried to contact her by phone. However, his calls went to voicemail, and he later found her phone on the side of the highway. He reported her missing that day.
Detectives with the Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Department were able to uncover the fake Facebook account for “Lucy” on Bush’s phone. They found a public posting on the account that read “I have a bunch of baby items if any moms need them.”
Police were able to track the fake “Lucy” persona to Amber Waterman’s home. They were also able to establish from Bush’s Google records that she had gone to Pineville, which is approximately .15 miles from where the Watermans live in McDonald County, Missouri.
Authorities believe that Amber shot Bush and then cut her baby out of her abdomen. When the newborn baby was not breathing, she called for help. Paramedics tried to revive the baby, according to McDonald County Sheriff Robert Everson in Missouri. At that time, Amber claimed that the newborn was hers, but the baby didn’t survive.
After the murder, Amber led her husband, Jamie Waterman, to the body of Ashley Bush. They rolled Bush’s body onto a blue tarp, and Jamie dragged the body to a fire pit behind their home. The Watermans then burned Bush and drove a short distance to hide the body. Bush’s body was dumped in a separate location from her baby.
Jamie Waterman later told police that his wife confessed to killing Bush, and he led police to the place where they had dumped the body.
According to PEOPLE, Amber later told authorities that she had a stillborn baby on the same day Bush went missing. Police believe that Amber intended to pretend that Bush’s child was her own.
Benton County has filed two capital murder charges against Amber Waterman. She was charged with kidnapping resulting in death in a federal court in Missouri. In the same federal court, Jamie Waterman was charged with accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death. PEOPLE reported that Amber could face the death penalty or a possible life sentence, and Jamie could face a maximum 15-year prison sentence.
On Nov. 9, Magistrate Judge David Rush ruled that Amber should be detained until her trial because she poses a danger to the community, reported 40/29 News.
Meanwhile, Ashley Bush’s three children, fiancé, and whole family are left to mourn her loss and remember her legacy. Lainey Blackburn, Bush's cousin, told CBS News that the outpouring of love and support that the family has received is getting them through the tragedy. She shared, "Even though evil is in the midst of all of this, the love and support, the good outweighs the evil.
"She leaves a very kind and gentle legacy behind in her children. You can tell how doting and caring she was by the way her children behave and who they are," Blackburn said.
A GoFundMe page was set up by the family to help support Bush’s three children.