Port Charlotte High School alum wanted in wife's California murder

CREATED Dec. 6, 2013

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Police in San Bernardino, Calif. have issued a warrant for Edly Atherley, a Port Charlotte High School alum, in connection with the murder of his wife, Ashley Atherley.  Ashley, 28, was found badly beaten and stabbed to death in her San Bernardino home Sunday.   

"She was scared for her life," her father, Scott Hall said during an emotional press conference in San Bernardino. "We wanted her to come home, we didn't want her here."

A spokeswoman for Ashley's parents, who live in Tampa, said their daughter was "on her way out" of what they describe as years of domestic violence.  Ashley grew up in Tampa and moved to California with Atherley, 29, about a year ago, the spokeswoman said.  Friends of Ashley's fear her alleged killer may come back to Southwest Florida, where he reportedly has family.  According to San Bernardino police, Atherley was spotted Wednesday trying to buy a train ticket in San Bernardino. 

"He's obviously trying to get away," said Kassandra Snyder, a high school friend of Ashley's. 

Officials at Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said they are in communication with San Bernardino police and are on the lookout for Atherley, should he decide to return to Port Charlotte.

"We want to make sure the community knows we are taking all steps to make sure everything is secure and that if [Atherley] decides to come around that we can take him into custody," said Debbie Bowe, public information officer for Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. 

In the following statement to Fox 4, Ashley's parents said they plan to dedicate the rest of their lives to domestic violence awareness:

"Our plea right now is for any victim who has been encouraged by their family and friends to seek help to hear us when we say that your life is danger. Lean on your family and please get help from a domestic violence agency in your community who can help you know how to leave...don't try to figure it out on your own.  Trying to find a nice way to leave cost Ashley her life." - Lucia Robles and Scott Hall, Ashley's parents. 

Anyone who knows Atherley's whereabouts or sees him is asked to call Charlotte County Sheriff's Office at 941-639-2101