On Friday, October 20, 2023 long-time resident of Ruth, Nevada, Brandy Ashdown, age 39, was murdered by her husband Justin Welch, age 47 in Ely, Nevada. He then shot and killed himself. He and his wife had lived together for approximately 8 years in Ruth and were married in 2021. Due to a separation, Justin had moved to Ely where he had resided for the past 6 months.
In a sit-down interview with Brandy’s brother, Jonus Ware. He brought to light as much as he could recall about his sister’s relationship with her husband leading up to the shocking incident. As far as he knew there was no history of physical domestic abuse, but there had been verbal threats on occasion, as well as manipulation and jealousy since their separation.
The Bristlecone Tribune has been told in the past by Captain Fincher that the WPCSO does not give statements, but emails a Press-Release. When we receive that release we can assure our readers that it will be printed. The incident is in the WPCSO Blotter and can be viewed on Facebook, dated 10.20.23.
According to Jonas Ware, on Thursday October 19, the day prior to the murder-suicide, Brandy Ashdown called the WPCSO to report a theft and destruction of property. Upon the deputies arrival it was believed that Justin Welch had destroyed the Ring Doorbell camera, and then entered Brandy’s home moving the stove into the middle of the kitchen, and then leaving with her dog. The officers’ advised her that since they were still married it would be in her best interest to get a Temporary Protection Order that would prevent him from going near her or her property. At this time we cannot confirm that the deputies questioned Justin about entering Brandy’s home and the destruction of property.
Jonus had informed us that the following day, Friday, October 20, the day the murder-suicide occurred, he received a call from his sister at 12:08 pm, she was at the WPCSO and extremely upset. She had gone there to request help and assistance in retrieving her dog, and wanted an officer to watch and/or assist her in removing the license plates from a vehicle registered in her name. She told the officer/employee, inside the WPCSO, that she was in fear for her life due to prior text messages and verbal threats from Justin Welch. The officer/employee informed her that it was a civil matter, and to obtain a Temporary Protection Order. She was in the process of obtaining the TPO.
Jonus stated “I have nothing bad to say about most of the officers who work at the WPCSO, but if that one officer/employee would have just been kind to my sister and really listened to her…if the deputy/employee had any sympathy at all she should have spoke with her superiors. The Captain or Sheriff could have dispatched a unit to follow my sister to the complex in Ely where Justin lived. I’m pretty certain Justin wouldn’t have done anything if she had an officer(s) accompanying her. I believe her death could have been prevented. His apartment was approximately seven min from the Sheriff’s office. Why are people so callous, and rude?! The Sheriff and Deputies are hired to PROTECT & SERVE THE PUBLIC! My sister, certainly wasn’t protected or served! I just want to know why my sister is dead when a law enforcement officer (and, I’m sure there were a few out driving around) couldn’t have been dispatched in order to assist my sister? There are so many deputies, and lots of overtime….wasn’t my sister’s life worth 30 minutes of their time?!”
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website “Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep murder-suicidal thoughts and feelings secret. That is why it’s so important for professionals and law enforcement to get proper training in domestic issues, gain more understanding and empathy, listen with all seriousness, and never underestimate what the victim, on the receiving-end of the abuse, is reporting to them.”
The Bristlecone Tribune sends their, heartfelt, condolences to Brandy’s three sons; James-19, Vinnie-17, and Brandon-14, along with the rest of her family members. We also are sorry for Justin’s three children who live in California along with his family. A viewing for Brandy Ashdown will be held Friday 27th, at Mountain Vista Chapel from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. A celebration of her life will be at a later date.