Published May 27, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE— Thomas Begaye, 27, has been indicted on six counts by a federal grand jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico for his role in the abduction and murder of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike on the Navajo Indian Reservation earlier this month.
The indictment charges Begaye with first-degree murder, felony murder, kidnapping resulting in death, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse resulting in death and kidnapping of a minor on Monday, May 2, 2016.
On that day according to the criminal complaint, at approximately 2:30 p.m., Ashlynne and her 9-year-old brother got off a school bus with an older sister and friend. Ashlynne and her brother lingered behind to play in an irrigation canal before they were to walk home. While playing in the irrigation canal, Ashlynne injured her foot. As they continued to play in the irrigation canal, Begaye drove up in a red van and offered to give the two children a ride home. With her foot hurting from the injury, the two accepted a ride.
The van then headed toward the Shiprock Pinnacle on Navajo Route 13 and then took a turn down a dirt road on the reservation.
Begaye then took Ashlynne out of the van, leaving her brother behind, and walked toward a hill. He then took Ashlynne behind the hill where he sexually assaulted her. He then hit her in the head with the tire iron twice.
Begaye told investigators that she was still moving as he returned to the van. He told Ashlynne’s brother to walk home.
The brother was able to flag down a car to give him a ride. The motorists gave him a ride to the police department.
Sadly, Ashlynne died and her body was discovered yesterday morning by a volunteer search group.
Begaye was arrested on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at a sweat lodge.
A hearing for Begaye’s arraignment has been scheduled for June 7 at 9:30 a.m.