Detectives have launched a renewed appeal for information relating to the death of a man in Ashford 16 years ago.

Dighton Latest
Ashley Dighton

Ashley Dighton, 19, was last seen near the Sainsbury’s supermarket between Simone Weil Avenue and Junction 9 of the M20 on 11 June 2007.

His remains were found in woodland nearby on 11 July 2007 and his death has since been treated as unexplained.

Murder investigation

A murder investigation carried out by Kent Police saw over one thousand people spoken to, hundreds of hours of CCTV footage examined and over two thousand exhibits seized.

Following a recent review by the Cold Case Team, detectives are now renewing their appeal for anyone with any information to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber said: ‘No case is ever completely closed and we are still determined to get answers for Ashley’s family over what happened to him 16 years ago.

‘I am hoping that, following the passage of time since his death, someone may have information that they can now share with us.

‘I urge anyone who may be able to assist us to come forward so that we and Ashley’s family can have a better understanding of what happened to him.’

Dighton CCTV Latest
CCTV from the day Ashley was last seen


On the day he was last seen, Ashley was seen crossing Ashford ring road towards Canterbury Road, on his way to the supermarket.

Witnesses reported seeing him in and around the supermarket before he was last seen by a witness walking towards a pathway through the woodland near the place where he was later found.

In a statement, Ashley’s family said: ‘Sixteen years ago we lost our beloved brother and son Ashley Dighton. Since this tragic news, our family have been destroyed.

‘Our father and mother have not been the same since and I don’t think any of us have slept properly. Ashley was a loyal and gentle soul with his whole life ahead of him.

‘He has been cheated cruelly out of the happy future he deserved. Ashley had lots of friends due to his loyal and friendly personality.

‘As a family we ask anyone who has any knowledge of what happened to Ashley to please come forward. We really need to know why Ashley was taken from us and there are people who know.

‘Alliances change and people move on and have children of their own. What may have been difficult once to talk about may be different now. Please do the right thing.’

Ashley’s mother, Janet Dighton, added: ‘Ashley will be loved and missed, gone but never forgotten and always in our hearts. Love Mum.’

Anyone with any information should contact Kent Police on 01843 222289.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete their online form.

By Ed

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