Investigation Into Death of Ashley Turton Continues

Posted January 11, 2011 at 6:34pm

Although an autopsy of lobbyist and former Hill staffer Ashley Turton’s body was completed Monday night, the cause of her death has yet to be determined in the ongoing investigation, according to Beverly Fields, spokeswoman for D.C.’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Turton, 37, was found dead Monday morning inside her 2008 BMW X5, which was discovered on fire in her row house garage near Eastern Market.

Although homicide detectives were called to the scene, a Metropolitan Police Department news release on Monday said a low-speed crash probably caused the fire.

“It’s quite possible that the victim was maneuvering the car and came in contact with some kind of flammable chemical materials,” D.C. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer told Roll Call on Monday.

But Fields said the morgue is awaiting autopsy results, and it could be 60 to 90 days before they pinpoint the cause of death. “It could be next week; it could be a while,” she said.

Fields wouldn’t comment on specifics, but she said the body has “only tentatively been identified. We have not received a positive ID to state who the body is.”

Turton, 37, was the former chief of staff to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and the wife of White House liaison to the House of Representatives Dan Turton. She worked as a lobbyist for the Raleigh, N.C.-based utility giant Progress Energy.

As of press time, a memorial service for Turton had yet to be announced.