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Carolee Sadie Ashby story to be released on 45th anniversary of hit and run

The story of Carolee Sadie Ashby, the four-year old Fulton girl who was killed by a hit and run driver on evening of Halloween 1968 will be released on the 45th anniversary of her death.

Who Killed Carolee? The Littlest Angel will be unveiled at river’s end bookstore, East First and Bridge streets in Oswego, October 31 at 6 p.m.

Carolee was killed as she was walking home from the store with her sister, Darlene Ashby McCann and her cousin, Cheryl Ashby Ray.

The trio had gone to the store to buy candles for Darlene’s birthday cake and had stopped to buy Carolee an ice cream cone.

As they crossed Route 57, Carolee was struck and killed. The driver fled, leaving Carolee alone in the road to die.

The nonfiction book is authored by local journalist Carol Thompson, who had done extensive coverage of the case, working with the family since 2005.

Marlene Ashby, Carolee’s mother, contacted Thompson last year about writing the book.

“Marlene Ashby called one day and asked if I would tell Carolee’s story in hopes it would trigger someone’s memory,” Thompson said. “Since the time she asked, there was a confession in the case, but we decided to continue to move forward with the book.”

Ashby said she chose Thompson because of the years she devoted looking into the case.

“Carol has always been dedicated to finding the truth about what really happened,” Ashby said. “We’ve had reporters contact us when they want to write an article and then we never heard from them again. Carol wasn’t like that. She just never gave up.”

Thompson’s cousin, Mary Manchin, designed the book cover, which combines a picture Carolee drew shortly before her death with a photograph of the child.

The interior layout is designed by Kathryn Galan.

Proceeds of the book will be used toward the purchase of a handicapped accessible van for Darlene Ashby McCann’s daughter, Sherrie McCann, who was permanently disabled in a car accident.