An assistant manager at an American Eagle Outfitter location in Fort Worth, Texas, was allegedly brutally beaten and burned to death inside her apartment by two former employees late last month.
Police documents claim that Ashlea Harris, 31, was killed by Clarence Mallory, 19, and his girlfriend Carter Cervantez, 25, before they purportedly attempted to use her store keys to steal Black Friday earnings from a store safe, according to the Daily Mail.
Mallory and Cervantez have been charged with capital murder in the wake of the incident. The two had previously been fired from the store in August after Harris named them as suspects when $18,000 went missing; that theft was reportedly never solved or resolved.
Fast forward a few months and Harris, who worked late into the night on Black Friday, arrived home around 3 a.m. on November 28. A friend saw her alive after briefly visiting the apartment and leaving around 4:40 a.m., though it is unclear what time the alleged attack against Harris unfolded after that.
Sometime in the early morning, though, a neighbor reported hearing screaming and other noises before hearing his carbon monoxide alarm go off and seeing sprinkler water coming into his apartment, according to WFAA-TV.
That's when firefighters arrived and discovered Harris' body, which showed signs of trauma; her hands and feet were also bound with duct tape.
"Her body was partially burned along with several areas of her bedroom which included her mattress,” the affidavit reads, according to the Star-Telegram. "An empty bottle of rubbing alcohol was found near the body."
Ashlea Harris was brutally murdered late last month (Image via Ashlea Harris/Facebook)
After learning about the previous case involving Mallory and Cervantez from August, authorities began monitoring the couple and claim that Cervantez was seen on security cameras the morning after the murder using keys stolen from Harris to break into the American Eagle location.
The two, who reportedly denied being involved in the crime, were subsequently arrested and are being held on $500,000 bond for murder and a $100,000 bond for theft, WFAA-TV reported.
This follows another tragic story this week about a teenager who was also burned alive.
(H/T: Daily Mail)