NEWS- Justice for Justine: Questions linger in hit-and-run death

 


Steve Swartz and his daughter, Justine Swartz Abshire, visited in the Swartzs' Chattanooga home at Christmas 2005.
PHOTO COURTESY STEVE AND HEIDI SWARTZ

A week after the Hook discovered a black 1997 Ford Expedition may have played a role in the November 3, 2006 hit-and-run death of Justine Swartz Abshire, questions about her death remain unanswered: in particular, how exactly did Justine die, and what's become of her work-issued life insurance?

 

As detailed in the Hook's June 7, 2007 cover story, "Justice for Justine: The reward is boosted as new clues surface," the 27-year-old kindergarten teacher was discovered by her husband, Eric Abshire, dead or dying on Taylorsville Road in Barboursville sometime between 1 and 1:40am. Her parents, Chatanooga-based Steve and Heidi Swartz, have publicly expressed their frustration with their son-in-law's refusal to discuss their daughter's death in more detail and to take a lie-detector test. They have offered a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

After Justine's death, Abshire told Mr. Swartz the two had argued over his mother's health and that Justine had left the house and later called him to say her car had broken down, so he left on his motorcycle to pick her up– despite the fact that temperatures that night had dipped into the mid-30s. When he arrived at Taylorsville Road, Abshire told Mr. Swartz, he discovered Justine's body in the road and had a resident of a nearby home call 911.

As the Hook revealed last week, a black 1997 Ford Expedition may play a key role in the investigation. The vehicle, stolen from Seminole Auto Sales at the corner of Routes 29 and 33 in Ruckersville five days before Justine's death, was discovered weeks after her death in an unlocked, unrented unit at Spotswood Self-Storage, a mile from the dealership and one mile from Taylorsville Road where Justine died. Several days before the vehicle was stolen, Eric Abshire spent some time looking at it on the lot. That same day, a salesperson revealed, a key to the vehicle went missing. The vehicle, the Hook has learned, was returned to the dealership and sold before police made the possible connection. 

Through his attorney, the Expedition's new owner has declined comment, however a source close to the investigation tells the Hook that police took several samples from the vehicle for testing. The results of any such tests have not been made public.

(The Hook has also learned of its own connection to the case. A maroon Nissan pickup truck, in a sale handled by Abshire's brother, Jesse, was purchased earlier this year by Jeffrey Norford, the man who delivers the Hook. Norford reports that police have informed him that the vehicle was examined by authorities prior to his purchase.)

A kindergarten teacher at Culpeper's Emerald Hill Elementary School, Justine, her parents say, was a "homebody," and they say they can't imagine her driving dark country roads in the middle of the night. She had also called in sick for Friday, November 3– the day she she died– though they don't know if she'd seen the doctor. If she had, her visit would have been covered by the school provided health insurance. That isn't the only benefit given teachers in Culpeper.

Like most other school districts including Albemarle and Charlottesville, Culpeper County School system belongs to the Virginia Retirement System, a plan that guarantees its employees retirement benefits and life insurance. In cases of accidental death, the pay-out is approximately four times the employee's annual salary. According to the 2006-2007 Culpeper salary scale, Justine, who was in her third year teaching in the system, would have made at least $37,000, meaning her beneficiary could be eligible for at least $148,000. Her parents decline to say if they were named, citing the ongoing investigation, and Abshire– who, as her spouse, would be the default beneficiary if Justine hadn't named someone else– has not returned the Hook's calls.

Questions also linger about the way Justine died. There is no doubt she was found in the road, and police have classified her death a homicide, but the results of the autopsy have not been released. Witnesses say her body was discovered several hundred yards from her car and around a turn in the road. One Taylorsville Road resident, Aubrey Collier, says he doesn't believe a vehicle could have thrown her that distance. "It was too far," he said last week.

Most of Eric Abshire's family members the Hook has contacted have declined comment on their relative, who as detailed last week, has had several legal run-ins. However, Abshire's grandmother, Arlene Harlow of Ruckersville, says she doesn't believe her grandson has done anything wrong. She says Eric and his brother, Jesse, are devoted grandsons who call her regularly and who visited their late mother Alice, Arlene's daughter, when she was ill and in the hospital. 

"As far as I know," she says of Eric, "he's a good boy." 

The online version of this story has been changed to reflect the correct name of Eric's grandmother, Arlene Harlow, which was misstated in the print version.–ed.

 


Justine and Eric Abshire at their May 28, 2006 wedding.
PHOTO COURTESY STEVE AND HEIDI SWARTZ

 

#

106 comments

The Hook seems to have left out a detail, such as the fact that Justine was with Eric when they went to look at the Expedition and the key was missing at that time, that is why they could not test drive it. They went back a couple of other times and the key still had not been found.

If the Hook is so detailed oriented why wasn't the grandmother's name accurate in the hard copy version of the Hook. Makes you think.....what else is not accurate

as an addendum, who returned the Expedition key to the dealership?.......

Is everyone on the clock?? Glad to see our tax dollars at work:) since no one else seems to be working.

Again information about the vehicle, now publicly identified as a 1997 Ford Expedition, surfaces with a bit more detail. Stolen by someone from Seminole Auto Sales five days before Justine's death, it was later recovered in an unlocked and unrented storage unit a mile from where Justine's body was found. In a previous post "Annoyed" stated that the "lost key", remained "lost" over a protracted period, requiring several unsuccessful visits by Eric who was accompanied by Justine to drive the vehicle. The today's article by Stuart makes no mention of the key being "lost" until AFTER Eric spent time looking at it. Neither does it mention whether Justine accompanied Eric on that visit. Under the circumstances, it does seem very strange that these events could have come together spontaneously without any connection to Justine's death. This seems to be an important point especially since specific details of just how Justine died have not been made public.
The question is: Did Eric test drive the vehicle which would have required a key...on the day he visited the dealership, and, if so, just when did the key disappear? Pretty straightforward. Can someone answer this question?

The key was missing when Eric AND Justine went to look at it,so they never drove it. My question is who returned the key

Does your boss know what you are doing right now?
GET BACK TO WORK! Let the authorities deal with this unless you are planning on resigning your current position to become an investigator!

Dear Just wondering;obviously you aren't working since you are still reading and posting. Not everyone has a mon-fri 9 to 5 job and if they do I am sure they have lunch breaks. So quit worring what everybody else is doing unless you are paying our salaries.

Dear What's going on; glad to see someone else knows that the key was missing when JUSTINE & ERIC went to test drive the car.

And what does Eric's brother selling his truck have to do w/ anything. All of the vehicles belonging to Eric, Justine and close relatives were searched. That is routine so what is the big deal. They didn't find anything did they...nope,

To What's Going On: The only people who can speak with knowledge and authority about whether or not Eric actually test drove the vehicle, when the key disappeared and whether Eric was alone or with Justine when he went to the dealership are the folks at Seminole Auto Sales. If you are not one of them...you are just reiterating what you were told by someone or simply stating your opinion.
Additionally, was the key actually returned - or simply duplicated? Or was it in the vehicle when it was found in the storage unit?

Another ? Did Justine ever test drive the truck with Eric? Did she ever step foot in the black SUV?

It seems all the above comments have been made by people that know Eric, there isn't any negativity
toward him, nobody knows what happened, but Eric, Jesse and Justine...I'm sure a mistake was made somewhere in this horrible tragedy, and whom-ever is responsible will be brought to justice. I commend her parent's for not giving up, I'm sure all the above people that made comments would do the same if it were one their own children.

Reading the articles there is nothing but negativity toward Eric. These articles are basing everything on "hear say". I dont read about any facts. I think THE HOOK should wait for facts instead of trying to convict someone in the court of public opinion.

Of course I'm sure this is helping the papers circulation. I bet Courtney is happy.

Annoyed you are so right! I am just living large off of the taxes that YOU pay. I am reading your comments on the computer that my welfare bought me. I can do whatever I want since I am still getting paid no matter what time of the day. How you like me NOW!! Maybe when you get fired for not actually working you can come over and join me?

Yes, there are a lot of facts to all of this that make Eric look guilty!

The car did start when the police tried it.

I'm sorry but anyone and everyone who knew Justine knows that she would not have been out that late walking the dark streets.

You don't go and pick up you wife in the middle of the freezing cold night on a motorcycle with one helmet. Knowing she is sick.

AND yes, there are a lot more facts that make him look very guilty that can not be talked about. Courtney is actually doing a pretty good job. Eric can always speak up and give his side of the story to her. Oh yea, he has been told not to say anything. If you are not guilty why be worried about the truth???

The reason people don't talk to the press is that often times reports are written just to sell papers, such as the Hook reported that Eric went to look at the SUV, they didn't mention that Justine was with him and they key was missing then so they couldn't drive it, what's up with that.....

To Annoyed
How do you know they did not find anything when they searched the SUV?

This is for??????? Did Justine ever test drive the SUV with Eric? Did she ever step foot in the SUV?

To FYI

I guess you have seen the police evidence.

I do not remember reading about any interviews given by the investigator.

Are you absolutely positive no one else could have done this?

I did know Justine.
I just wonder about the car with front end damage(that travels that road regularly)and later caught on fire.

Dear Just wondering: "How do you like me now" how old are you 12. actually i have the luxury of being the boss and working from home when i like so I don't think I'll be firing myself anytime soon, but thanks for the offer.

Dear TLL: That's exactly what I have been wondering. How come nothing has been said about the car w/ the front end damage that conveniently caught fire.

Dear Not so fast: If anything was found in the SUV why hasn't it been impounded or has it and no one knows about that.

Dear ??: No neither Eric nor Justine ever got to drive the SUV. The key was missing when they first went to test drive it.

How do you know so much about the test drive? Did you actually accompany Eric and Justine or are you just repeating what Eric has told you. Unless you were there you don't really know either!

To everyone who is so interested in the SUV, just go to or call the car dealership and ask them....

Dear Annoyed at the 9:51 a.m.,

If you are such a high powered executive, then please explain how you did not capitalize your (A) and (I)in the second sentence. Also, your first sentence was a question, you should have included a question mark. And just some additional grammatical information, is when using quotes, they should be an exact statement from some other source.

Dear Answer:

I am still awaiting your response regarding my entry on the last article. Below is a copy of that text.

Posted by To Answer by Justice 6/14/2007 10:23:57 AM
Dear Answer:

Question, do you also have reservations regarding why he would go to pick her up on his motorcycle? My answer, seems to be yes, you have already tried to create an alibi.
Also, you reference the tempeture that day. The article indicates that she was found around 1:40 a.m. not during the day. Does that mean that you have information to the contraire or that the facts are different then in the article?

Posted by Answer 6/14/2007 10:44:13 AM
I have not tried to create an alibi. The question was asked why was he on his bike. He had been riding that DAY. And then went to see his very ill mother in the hospital. Did you not read that. So you are as bad as the reporters who turn people's words around and that's why no one would comment to The Hook.

Posted by To Answer by Justice 6/14/2007 10:51:09 AM
You forgot to reply regarding the weather or was that deliberate?

Dear Helping You:
Thanks for the English lesson. I didn't realize I was being graded. I never said I was a high power exec......did I, let me check, nope, don't see that statement anywhere in my comment.....again there you go assuming...I was simply stating that I am a boss and I can work from home and unless Just Wondering pays my or anyone else’s salary on this comment page then she/he shouldn't worry about whether or not we are working. Now let’s try to stay on the topic, Justine's death....shall we... (Please read the fine print at bottom of the page under the comment button, thanks)

If you read the response correctly from Someone Please Answer. They said that they always keep their bike at home during the winter and leave their car in storage. I said the weather that day was around 58 degree's. That would be why he had been riding that day. I never imply that the Hook reported wrong about when her body was found.
Also if you read correctly he had been to see his very ill mother in the hospital until late. So he didn't pick his car up that night. Now I have better things to do then sit here and respond to you fishing around. If you knew Justine you would know that she wouldn't want people feeding off all of this drama. Its bad enough Eric and her parents have to live with not knowing what happened everyday.

To Good Grief: This post reaches across the country. Some of us do not have the luxury of simply going to the dealership and inquiring. Frankly, if that were an alternative I would have already done so. Perhaps someone closer will do just that and ask someone with actual knowledge of the specifics to post to this site.

Dear Looking for Logic:

If you can't go there then call them and ask. The detectives have the same information. The salesman helping them was a man named Kevin and the number is 434-985-1595 However, for whatever reason, the person quoted in The Hook was a salesman by the name Mike Marks who didn't even meet with Eric & Justine that day.

How do you know all of this? FIrst hand or second hand from the person that you are protecting?

Who am I protecting? Just stating the facts. It's not like it is a secret who the salesman was.

the facts as they were told to you by Eric, the same Eric that will not give Justine's parents the answers they are searching for. People tell you what you want to hear not necessarily the truth. And yes you do seem to be his biggest advocate.

Were you there at the car lot when Eric and Justine went to test drive the black SUV? If not, then you do not have any more FACT than anyone else.

This is amazing! The silence of one man has caused all of this. People who have truly nothing to do with this case are attacking each other over it!

If you're out there, Eric, and you have nothing to hide-- please just reveal what you know.

Unfortunately, because of articles like this one and our other local media, you will be condemned in the eyes of the community until then. Just tell the truth- no matter what it is- and you will be treated fairly.

AMEN!

Eric has told what he knows to the police and to the media and to Justine's parents. How many times does he need to repeat it, I mean come on. Justine parents, understandably, want more answers and Eric just doesn't have them to give. Don't you think he wants answers too? It's not that he is being silent; he's just tired of repeating himself. If I thought for 1 second that he had anything at all to do with this I would be the first to tell him to turn himself in. I have to many cops in my family to keep a secret like that...............none of which are working on this case let me just clarify that. I adored Justine and Eric. He loved her a great deal. I remember the day he bought her engagement ring. He came straight to my office and sat it on my desk with a huge smile and asked If I thought she would like it. He was so excited and nervous all at the same time. You don't know the real Eric, I do, he is a good man who loved Justine and loves his children. It doesn't really matter if the community, a bunch of strangers, condemns him. His family and his real friends will give him all the support he needs. We all want Justice for Justine too. She was well loved.

To Annoyed,
I couldn't have said it better myself!

To Alarmed:

Thank you.

If Eric was so loving to Justine then why is there not one person that Justine worked with or her friends standing by him? I know none of Justine's close friends wanted her to marry him. Something had to be going on there. Things are just not adding up.

You are right Eric's family and close friends will support him and maybe even cover up the truth. I know he knows a lot of people in that area.

I don't think people are ganging up on Eric just to gang up on him. I believe that there are a lot a reasons people think he has something to do with Justine's death.

I am amazed that you would say something like that. She was part of his family too. And the family also lost a very beautiful and wonderful person. How dare someone say that the family would cover up for him!

ok lets start off by saying that i am talking about facts 1st hand not facts that are 2nd or 3rd hand this is 100% 1st hand.If u all think MR.ABSHIRE is so great and was a loveing husband how come he had sex with some women not even 7 days after his wife was murdered.Second of all what about his affair with his badys mothers sister in law while he was married and before he was married.Third of all the people that want to know about the keys to the black suv he it goes the keys were there all day at the car lot untill one of the works who was working on the black suv had to go to madison dmv and he left the keys in the black suv,while he went to madison the keys where in the black suv untill MR.ABSHIRE come on to the lot and was looking at the black suv by himself then all of a sudden the keys turned up missing and the work who was in madison got a call asking where were the keys to the black suv he said they were in the black suv where he left them so u tell me how strange that is.So like i said this is 1st hand info not 2nd or 3rd or hear say new.

I'm really confused. What differece does it make that Justine might have gone w/Eric to look at the black SUV?

in order to have first hand knowledge you were either watching them have sex or you were the one he was having sex with so which was it? Were you at the car lot when Eric and Justine went to drive the car or are you the salesman? My guess is none of the above which means you don't have first hand knowledge.

There are way too many suspicious and unexplainable elements to this story. Based on the reporting, Eric’s morals and judgment are questionable at best. Given the circumstances, who would drive a motorcycle to come to the aid of their wife in need, only a complete scumbag!

Don’t know him or anything about him other than what has been reported. If he is involved, he’ll be caught because seems to be one of those guys that reek of trouble. One of those guys whose stench follows him every where he goes. The kind of stink you can’t wash off and can only cover up for a short time.

Amen, to that Stinky

Stated, "Its bad enough Eric and her parents have to live with not knowing what happened everyday."
At best her parents have to live with it, I would bet the reward money Eric does!!!
Shame so many people look past what has been gotten away with in the past and no recourse's were taken because just enough was covered up to not have a sound case so "they" walked away, sometimes with cash in hand. That was not murder mind you, this is a new chapter. 20 years ago maybe, Forensics are a great thing unless the Authorities screw it up, ie: OJ!
Besides, it they were punished for all they got away with, this wouldn't have happened in the first place because it would be hard to reach that far from behind bars!

For Sally: If Justine never had any contact with the SUV no DNA evidence could be found in it. However, if she had contact, DNA might be found. So, if someone wanted to use the van to aid in her death and wanted to protect himself in an investigation into her death, he would say she had also been in the van. I personally never believed Eric was smart enough to plan and execute such a detailed plan. But with help...who knows. O.J. wasn't very smart and he got away with it.

so this is to the one that says i dont have 1st hand info and that person said either i was watching him have sex with her or i was the one that was haveing sex with him that is the wrong answer.So if u dont believe that i have 1st hand info why dont u call MR.ABSHIRE and ask him yourself and see what he says.I am shocked that there have not been alot of post since my last one and how come no one has said anythang about the affair with his babys mothers sister in law and how could he even thank about haveing sex with another women so soon after that if someone would let me know what in the world he was thanking but i forget he didnt care about his wife so if someone can tell me other wise please do so. Remember i only speak of 1st hand info i dont talk about 2nd or 3rd or hear say.

JUSTINE,
MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.
TIME IS ON OUR SIDE NOW.

For the one that knows: Who cares that Mr. Abshire was having an affair, probably half of the men and women in the world are having affairs.
What people care about is trying to find out who did this to Justine, and why? All the focus has been on Eric, could he have had help? What about his brother? Where was he the night this happened?

This is for HARPER.
HARPER you just dont understand what is going on do you.What i am saying is if MR.ABSHIRE had somethang to do with it he had to have a reason to do it not just to do it for the hack of it right.So if he has a reason like seeing other women and his wife found out that would be a good reason or if he was in need of money that would allso be a good reason.So if they are saying he was a good man or husband then why was he sleeping with his babys mother in law and why did he have sex less than 7 days after she was killed if he loved her so much.If u love someone how was murdered how could u even thank about another women right after u put your wife in the ground does that make any sense at all to you or do u need me to write it again or have you call MR.ABSHIRE if u dont thank this is 1st hand info and trust when i say i dont talk about 2nd or 3rd hand info or hear say.So please understand what i am saying there was a reason that she is not with us anymore.SO HARPER LET ME ASK U SOMETHANG IT SOUNDS LIKE IT TO ME THAT YOU ARE HAVEING AN AFFAIR ON YOUR MATE YOU ARE JUST LIKE MR.ABSHIRE IF THAT IS THE CASE AND I HOPE YOU DONT DO THE SAME THANG CAUSE IT WILL COME BACK TO GET YOU IN THE LONG RUN.

For the one that knows: If I was having an affair it actually wouldn't be any of your business or anyone elses for that matter, but to set the record straight, I'm not married. No one cares about 1st, 2nd, or 3rd hand information, just facts. For you to have all this information,
you must have had to know the couple pretty well.
Peopole have affair's all the time, they don't kill their spouses, if it was for life insurance money, as stated in the news article, only Eric and Justines parent's know who the beneficiary is, so if he isn't the one, then there blows another theory doesn't it? If he did it, maybe it was for another reason???? Maybe he was hiding something else????

HARPER just to let you know 1st hand means fact you dummy.So all of the 1st hand is facts and remeber i dont talk about 2nd or 3rd hand info not even hear say.What do you have to say about him haveing sex so soon after she was murdered that should tell u somethang about MR.ABSHIRE right and if it doesnt then you must me a real big dummy.

The one that knows:
You really sound intelligent:( You are so hung up on this man having sex with someone that you can't even stay focused on what is important. You sound like you may be a little jealous of his sex life. I didn't say it was right, I'm just saying that it doesn't make him a murderer. Maybe the person he was having sex with had something to do with Justine's demise....you aren't pointing fingers at that person......

Harper, i agree w/ what you are saying. If eric was having an affair then how come no one is pointing the finger at that person.

To the one that knows: again in order to have first hand knowledge you must have witnessed it, so again i ask were you watching or participating in the sex acts.

To the one who knows

Does your probation officer know you are on the internet?

You may be a first hand liar. Who knows?

A key board will lay there and let you type anything on it.

P.S. Stay away from the 13 year old girls.
P.S.S Try using spell check

Dear "The one that knows"
I would advise you to be careful. You are entering into slanderous territory. I doubt that you realize that you are opening yourself up to legal retribution. I realize that if you are the "fan of 13 year olds", I know who you are too, and I would advise you to be very careful. There are ways to find out where your messages come from. There are ways to show you that you cannot just say anything about people.
To the rest of the people commenting on this horrible tragedy:
Do you actually think you are accomplishing anything? Let me tell you, YOU ARE NOT! How about all of you mind your own business and let the people who are suffering from this horrible tragedy,(Whomever they may be), suffer in peace. The police are there for a reason. How about all of you let them do their job and stop feeding the rumor mill. This is nothing better than a gossip session. You all sound ridiculous and petty. There are people out there suffering every day from this tragedy and I can almost guarantee you that they don't want your input. Instead of wasting your time on this site, go volunteer somewhere or go feed a family. This paper and web-site make me feel sick. You all show what is now so prevelant in our society. GOSSIP, PETTINESS, IGNORANCE, LACK OF COMPASSION, to name a few.
There is always accountability. Whether in this life or the next. Have faith in that and stop making yourselves sound like idiots.

TO I THANK I KNOW U

I dont know who u thank i am but i must have gotten under your skin and if i did i am sorry.I dont know who you thank i am but i would not be putting thangs on here that shouldnt be.So i did what i wanted to and got under peoples shin that is what i wanted to do but i never ever said anythang that was not a fact just to let everyone in here know what kind of person MR.ABSHIR really is.So about me saying thangs on her that are not true like you said before i am not lieing about anythang i said,it sounds like you must be MR.ABSHIRE really good friend or wishing you were like him like a minnie MR.ABSHIRE.The only one that is suffering is her and her famliy not any of the ABSHIRES.

It is so sad to see the way you guys are attacking people you do and don't know. Regardless of circumstances, people are innocent until proven guilty. Not only is that integral to our Justice System, it is told to us by God himself. "Judge not, lest ye be judged". It looks like we are quite a distance from anyone being proven guilty. Many people in our society have character flaws, that does not make them a killer. If that were the case, it is arguable that some of you are as bad as you say he is. Quite a few character flaws are glaringly obvious right now. The articles that were printed about this appeared very one-sided and inflammatory. They gave just enough information to incite people, but not enough information to give a clear picture or produce true questions. To all the people who saw through that, Kudos to you. We sometimes forget that the media is run off of one simple principle --> RATINGS. It would make sense that gossip and rumor would guarantee them some degree of job security. As long as they leave the public with unanswered questions, the public will come back for more. Voila! Here we are.

The people involved in this tragedy need support, not criticism, nor condemnation. That includes Eric. Be strong Eric, the truth has a way of coming out. When it does, I would like all those who are so quick to judge to come back and revisit this site with an apology.

Oh, by the way, I don't think that character assassination truly proves anything. I'm sure that many things could be printed on any one of us that would make people talk. Exactly what would that prove??????

I am a little concerned about your obvious hatred of this person. Your behavior appears to border on obsession. Why are you so committed to make people believe what you say? Why are you so personally involved in painting him as a monster to the public? Your obvious dislike of this person is certainly not enough to judge him. We are more likely to judge you. You may want to get some professional help, because you seem a little unstable. I would recommend that you mind your own business. If you truly have any pertinent information, share it with the police. Oh, maybe you did, and they thought you sounded as insane as I do. Now that would make sense.

Isn't it strange that throughout these posts people have been asking anyone who could shed light on Justine's death to please come forward with the information. So someone does come forward and give what they say is first hand information...and what happens...people don't want to hear what is said.
Think about it!

I think it is more the way that information was relayed and the medium for relaying it. As far as I know, this website is not an official part of the investigation. If that person has first hand information, they need to share it with the appropriate people; and that most certainly is not us. They need to contact the police. I believe that the police actually encourage people with relevant information to not discuss it with others. This really leads me to believe that this is simply someone fueling gossip. Anyone with information should certainly come forward, but I would hope it would be to the police and not to a website on The Hook. In my opinion, that just reduces your credibility a little.

I agree that if someone knows something that would further the investigation they definitely should talk to the authorities. But people on this post have asked others with information to share what they know here, and some have done so. Of course, this certainly does not exclude also sharing it with the authorities. My point is if you don't want to know something...don't ask!
If someone knows the identify of the "one who knows" (as someone has declared) or others who have stated knowledge about the facts, perhaps they should alert the authorities.

This is truly amazing.... I have read this story and have found it interesting and it does leave my mind wondering quite a few questions as well. Although I have read some of the comments made and I also think it's interesting that people are trying to deter other people from commmenting...... this is an open discussion board, and you can discuss your opinion as long as it's in the guidelines and it is contributing to the topic. Also if Mr. Abshire did sleep with someone less than 7 days after his wife died so suddendly, I think it has a lot to do with his moral charcter and judgement as what type of person he is. I think it is great to have open discussion. Hopefully something useful may comeout of it.

It seems to me that these postings are speculation with no backup. Mr. Abshire is being condemned on the word of someone who just may have grudge against him, as some of the readers seem to think. Does the reader who knows first hand about the afair have any backup information, dates, places, names of other parties involved,and how does this person know unless he/she was there. If this is true, why not give all the information instead of just pointing a finger at Mr. Abshire.

Do any of you folks actually know him and have you talked to him about the entire situation?
Have any of you talked to the police to get an accurate story, or do you just not have a life
and need to feed off of the misfortune of others. Why do you let the press manipulate you?

I know that having a child(ren) with someone ties you together for the rest of your lives, like it or not. In this case it seems that MR ABSHIRE could not let go of his babies mama, may be case of if I don't have you no one else will.

He went to Eddins Ford in Madison and approached a "friend" of hers and threatened him if he continued the relationship. Such a grieving husband. It seems to me he should be more concerned in finding out what happened to his wife instead of being concerned with his babies mama moving on and dating someone else. Makes you wonder where his priorities really lie

Just for the record....Eric doesn't have a baby (this I know for a fact), his youngest child is in grade school, so where is all this baby talk coming from. Just goes to show how rumors get started. First it was his baby's mother's sister-in-law, then his baby's mother's mother-in-law (how can the baby's mother have a mother-in-law when she isn't married), and now the baby's mother.....make your mind up, which was it. Why is it that people just like to gossip? As stated earlier by What? you need to get a life, a job, a hobby, anything constructive.

Another thing, I think it's a shame that now people are trying to bring innocent children and a woman who is hard working and trying to raise children, into this gossip column....SHAME ON YOU...

Folks- This forum is supposed to be for open, and respectful discussion about this article. Personal attacks on each other, Mr. Abshire's "babies mama" stories, and other things like that are not leading to thoughtful discussion and they're just fueling the rumor fire. It's great that we have this power of free speech, but I feel like people are taking advantage and attacking a man they may or may not know when he cannot even defend himself to those reading these posts.
If you truly know someting that you think would help, please tell the authorities: don't try to convince folks that Mr. Abshire is a terrible person. He is innocent until proven guilty; and whether he had a hand in this or not- he is still grieving because he has lost his spouse. Criminals (IF that turns out to be the case here) still grieve. I do not know either party...I know that will be the first thing someone posts. You can do more by helping authorities find ou the truth, no matter what it is, than by being so negative here.

My prayers are with both of them and their families.

What comes around will go around.

I just want to say that I knew Justine. She was a very pretty and sweet person. She loved animals and kids. I don't believe she would want people going at each other like you have on this page.
I also know Eric and he does like to stay to him self. He has gone through a lot in the past 7 months including losing his mother. People critize him for not talking to the media but can you really blame him.

I've read many of the above comments, some seem informative, others seem argumentative and there are those that are just plain stupid.

Much to my own dismay I'am closer to this case then I would ever want to be. Having said that let me say I've done my best to keep an open mind. I've done my best to look at all the facts that have been made public, as well as facts I know that are not yet public. No one wants to think a husband could have such a disregard for life that he would kill his own wife! But at the same time what are people supposed to think given the circumstances. To those of you commenting on this board let me say that "The one who knows" is being more factual than many of the comments that I have read. The one problem I do have with some of the comments is the involvement of other people, who I know for a fact bearly even knew Justine. I personally don't care who Eric was sleeping with, however I do care that a young lady is dead, her parents are left to suffer and he is not forth coming with information to the night she died. There is a reason for that, if we all take our emotions out of this I think the picture would be rather clear. Let me say the end result will hurt people such as his children. But if Justine were my daughter I would turn the world up side down to find out what happened and who was responsible. Regardless of the affects it may have on others. To her parents I say continue to push, the answers are right in front of all of us. Don't give up and bring Justice to Justine once and for all. To Eric I would say what ever happened that night you do know, and I think there are those around who also know. Please for once do the right thing and let this girls parents put closure on this. If you can't do it for them then do it for Justine, ironically I believe you actually loved her.

I am going to defend some of the people mentioned here. They don't belong here. #1: The mother of Eric's children is not at all involved in this horrible situation, so stop bringing innocent people into your horrible game. #2: Neither is any memeber of her family, so leave them out of this. #3: Their children are innocent to all of this nastiness that the public has created and their families want them to stay that way. I am sure that Justine would not want any of this pettiness to include them. You people who hide behind a search for the truth, but who would have the indecency to bring innocent women and children into your little gossip sessions are the bottom of the barrel of human beings. You make yourselves out to be crusaders for the truth, yet you are nothing better than filth, in my opinion, of course. Why do you nasty people have no compassion for the people affected by this tragedy. When Karma says "what goes around comes around", you all may want to think about that. I hope you get the chance to sit and watch your loved ones suffer over something that is totally out of their control and that they are not at all involved in. You say speak out. That's a joke. Answers aren't accepted if they are not the ones that people are looking for. You people don't want the truth, you want dirt. How about this....... What if the only dirt is that Eric has a less than sterling character?????? Everyone has cooperated in this case.
This case seems like it is being tried in the public. There is usually a reason for that.
It seems like many of you could care less about the truth. If you have something to say, call the police. This makes freedom of speech look stupid. This isn't freedom of speech, it seems more like freedom of gossip.

Is anyone monitoring this site? Do you realize that innocent people and children are being brought into this discussion. Eric's children are not in any way involved in this. How can you let these people open those poor kids up to the kind of backlash these discussions are going to create? You have allowed specific references to people, with no doubt left as to who they are, without any attempt at knowing whether they were true. You should be as ashamed as the people who did it.

To the people making the references:
You sound like you know Eric, his friends, and his family. That being said, you should be ashamed that you would exploit their pain. Have you given one thought as to how this has affected two innocent children? I don't think many of you have. How about you think about it. Think about your own children, grandchildren. How would you like to watch them be drug into something they had no control over? You may have any feelings you like about Eric. He is involved in this case. How about you stick to that and leave the others out of this. They have done nothing here.

I do not think people are gossiping. What they are doing by bringing up Eric and his many inconsistant stories (i.e.)is showing that he is a liar. He lied to Justine and clearing has been lying to many of you as well as her parents and the police.

I could'nt agree more!!!!! Regardless of the people involved in this tragedy I know two who aren't. His children are none of anyone's business. How dare any of you even make reference to them in anyway at all. As heartless as you make Eric sound, you make your self sound worse; where were you the night Justine died?

For those of you that want people to recognize Eric's pain how can you expect people to do that when they believe he is guilty of her death!
People, like Eric, who elicit such vitriolic comments by so many of you, are clearly seen as someone very capable of killing their spouse. Its clear his reputation is of someone who has had several brushes with the law. So we all know we are not dealing with Billy Graham here. People shouldn't be surprised by the the anger and outrage expressed on this post. People want justice for Justine's death and every day that no one is held accountable - is another day without that justice.
It's unfortunate that innocent bystanders are hurt in these situations...but its always unavoidable. For many of us that's reason enough not to be associated with any questionable people or scandals.

To TO:
This case is being tried in "public" because it is not being tried in court!!! When it finally gets to court...people will stop trying it in public.
Apparently you don't really believe in the right of an individual to speak their mind, yet this is a constitutional right. Blogs allow us to do that and that is why they are so popular. The only way to protect yourself from that is to log off.

“From the body of one guilty deed a thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed” William Wordsworth. Justice is served in many flavors.

How many of you actually know what Eric has told the police, have you been in contact with the police and are privy to their investigation? On this note no one knows actually what has been said and what actually happened. For those who seem to know about inconsistencies in his story, what are they? As I understand it, he has told Justine's parents and the police the same story, over and over, has not waviered. It seems to me that the posting on this site are just a forum for gossip.

I think some of the people know Eric and the others are just feeding off of someone else's pain. I know that he loved Justine and don't believe half of what people are saying. Just put yourself in his shoes and imagine what he is going through as well as her parents. If this were you or your family that were being tried by the public with no evidence that has been made public, how would you feel. His children have been brought into this, INNOCENT children, just because, it seems to me, there is someone out there who may have a grudge agianst Eric and is just trying to hurt him. How do you know that Eric was sleeping with someone, do you know this for a fact or just based on gossip. As posted earlier, someone seemed to know who "The One Who Knows" may be and their legal problems, if true, are very serious. I noticed that "The One Who Knows" posted over the weekend, and there have been no other positngs during the week. Maybe there will be another posting this weekend when he is away from home, and has access to a computer, because he/she is not allowed to have one at home. THINK ABOUT IT.

Just let the legal system do it's job instead of speculating on what may or may not be true.

It is very sad that Eric’s children are exposed to this horrible tragedy. No one wanted that. However, the only one to blame is Eric himself. Had he been willing to do the right thing after Justine was murdered, there would be no debate. All Justine’s family wants is the truth. He refused to answer questions they had for six months and STILL cannot or will not explain the events of her last days. They asked him repeatedly to clear himself, and he is unwilling to do so. Apparently he cares about his children about as much as he cared about Justine. No one wants to see his children suffer. But don’t forget, they were not his first victim. That was Justine and it will not go away.

To Justice:

What do you consider the RIGHT THING? Do you know the events of that night? If so please share your first hand knowledge with the police and the public and all of this can be put to rest.

Do you know where Eric was prior to the tragic event? He was at the hospital with his terminally ill mother who had been transferred to the Emergency Room from the Nursing facility where she was being treated for a terminal illness, his mother has since passed away, with all of this going on and not knowing if his mother was going to live or die and being the one asked to make medical decisions do you know what it's like in the ER and there is no way to know how long you are going to be there or, in this case, what the outcome would be.

I still don't understand why none of Justine's close friends or co-workers are not sticking up for Eric if he had nothing to with her death. Not one of them. You would think someone would stand up for him if her had nothing to with her death. It amazes me that so many people who knew Justine, had nothing good to say about him. I'm not picking on him, but there are so many things pointing at him to make him look guilty. It is not like Justine did not talk with her friends about their relationship before she was killed. You are right, the police probably know more than anyone else. Just remember once a person is tried they can't be tried again. So, maybe things are coming along and they just want to make sure there is no reasonable doubt.

To those people who think this forum is so bad then just don't log on. You can make your own chose to read or not to read.

To: Just wondering. Poor Eric-my foot. Yes, I know as well as a lot of people know what it is like to make decisions in the ER for a terminally ill patient. By the way, she seemed to live for quite some time after Justine died. Seems fishy-was she really terminally ill or was it just an alibi?

To Justice:
Why would anyone be so disrespectful towards a dieing woman? If you know all that you imply you should know how sick she was. Just because she was a fighter and lived longer than the doctors thought you make it sound like there was a plot. You should be ashamed of yourself. I was also at the hospital that night and know first hand..What do you know first hand? So if you think that his mother being taken to the ER was an alibi the staff at the nursing home must have conspired with the ER to treat her. Just makes you think what kind of person thinks of things like this?

Again, why haven’t you shared your first hand knowledge of what happened and again what are the inconsistencies in the story, please share…what have you been told by the authorities?

To: Justice
You sure are hung up on someone trying to create an alibi for Eric. Has someone had to create one for you. You evendentally haven't been in that situation where the doctors call the emergency contact and had to be the one to make the decisions. You haven't had the doctor call all the family in to say there good-bye's and then the patient pull through a day later. Obviously you don't know much about how the health of someone can go up and down. For you information his mother was terminally ill and yes she did hang in there for a few months. Taking her off her oxygen and iv's, then waking up a day later and eating. And repeating these events several times. Seems like the person you had to sit with in the ER didn't feel the love that Eric's mother did and didn't have the will or want to pull through. So maybe you should check yourself before you go talking about someone's health that you know nothing about!

To: Justice
You are an INSENSITIVE ---. Yes, I'm family and was one called in by the doctors to say my good-byes and sat with my aunt wondering how much longer I had with her.

To Can You Explain:

It seems like you have already conviced this man with no evidence. How many of her friends and co-workers have you spoken with? I know I don't share my relationship (whther things are going good or bad) with my co-workers and with only one really close friend. Some people are private that way.

It just seems that maybe you have an issue with Mr. Abshire and are just pointing a finger. Remember - JUDGE NOT LEAST YE BE JUDGED. It seems like from reading the postings that friends of Mrs. Abshire's have spoken out on behalf of Mr. Abshire

To Loving Niece:
No, I am not INSENSITIVE.

Your concern over Eric and his emotions to say good bye to his mother, perplexes me. Because, by the sounds of the article, it doesn't sound like he was given the chance to say goodbye to Justine, either. Does this also upset him? Or did he say goodbye? You wonder why so many people are suspicious and have more questions of him. But, when you talk more about your Mother dying then your new bride being tragically killed, that creates suspicion.

Let me just say that Justine's parents, sister and family never were even given the opportunity to say goodbye.

I will not be visiting this site any longer. I can control one aspect of this tragedy; I can choose not to see the insensitivity and crudeness of our society.
I do have one thing to say to Justice before I go. You have a lot of nerve to sit there and act like those children are totally meaningless. You don't have a clue what he feels for his children, and your comments show your lack of character. I hope and pray that you reap what you sow. Any further mention of those kids, by anyone, should be handled by the paper. This has gone too far. Those children have rights too and they are being violated by you people.

Does anyone know anything else about the car that burnt up that was mentioned earlier?

To Justice:

You still have not answered my questions. What are the inconsistencies in his story? What have you been told by the authorities? Another question for you, why are you so gung ho that Mr. Abshire did this, you cannot answer any questions or give any evidence. Were you there, what did you see? Sounds like you are trying a a little too hard to make Mr. Abshire look guilty - but remember INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. You really need to back up what you say.

PS: You are insensitive, bringing innocent children and a dieing woman into this. Just stick to the facts, which you don't seem to have.

PSS: I also noticed that you didn't respond to comments made by Think Before You Write.

I think we need to review the circumstances of Justine's death.
It appears that no one still believes she was accidentally killed by a hit-and-run driver, in the middle of the night on a lonely country road. That suggests she was killed by either a nut in the community...have there been other similar crimes recently...or by someone she knew. It seems likely she was killed by someone she knew. So, that already narrows the field of suspects. In addition, she seems to have been loved by most everyone who knew her as these posts have suggested. So what we are looking for is someone who knew her and then killed her. How many people fall into that category? So just by a simple process of elimination we can arrived at who the most likely suspect is. And, until someone better comes into focus...her husband will remain the most likely suspect
Her reputation, as a loving, gentle person suggests no one else would have been motivated to kill her. If her husband is the guilty one we also don't really know his motive either...although insurance could have been one, or, as in the case of any relationship there could have been many reason unknown to outsiders. However, regardless of the motive it doesn't change the fact that no one else comes even close to having ANY reason to kill her.
So you didn't have to witness her death, or even have any inside facts to arrive at a logical conclusion as to who might have killed her. We're left with only one real candidate...Abshire.

To: Looking for Logic

What about the Car that was seen that night on the road about the same time and later caught on fire, this seems very suspicious to me. Yet there have been no comments, or very few, about that. From what I understand injuries were consistent with a hit and run. It seems to me that you do need facts in order to convict someone of murder or any crime and you make it seem like he has been tried and convicted. I would like to know what the facts are and what evidence there is. In all of these positings it seems there is only here say and innuendo. Someone - anyone please post some facts.

I'm not defending anyone or making excuses. I just would like to know where everyone is getting their information and why no one is checking out the car that was seen on the road that night and later burned. Does this not sound suspicious to you, or do you just want to ignore any other possibility. Do you know that Mr. Abshire was the beneficiary on the life insurance, according to the artice in the Hook the parents refused to say who the beneficiary is.

You just aren't making any sense....how can you say that you can convict someone without facts? How would you like to be in a legal situation of which you may be innocent and then found guilty without enivdence, or a trial. Just convicted.

Just would like to know how anyone can condone just irnoring the legal system by saying people can be convicted witout evidence or facts

To all of you who think that Eric has “told the truth”…..

Even those of you that claim to know Eric so well know that he has not been honest and forthcoming about plenty of things in his past. You know how much he kept from Justine as well as others close to him. When you say that he has told the police and her family everything he knows, and that his story has never changed, how can you be sure? The only things you know are directly from his mouth. Were you there when he spoke to the police? Do you know that his story is consistent? Do you know what he has told her parents? Do you know if he has answered their questions or if his story has been consistent with them?
You only know what he has told you. Are you sure it is the truth? Unless you witnessed ALL of these conversations first hand, don’t be so sure of him.

To Please: Excuse me but no one has convicted anyone of anything. We are not ignoring the legal system...we are outside of the legal system. This is an opinion post and not a court of law. Hopefully we will all see someone tried and convicted for this crime soon.
My assumptions are all based on obvious facts known by everyone who has an interest in this case...they have all be published by this newspaper. I know nothing a any car seen on the road or anything about it later being burned. What car, when, who was driving, where was it burned and by whom? Has anyone established if this car had anything to do with Justine's death?
Where did you get the information about Justine's injuries being consistent with a hit-and-run accident. To the best of my knowledge that information has not been made public to date.
Although some people keep talking about Eric being convicted here on this post...it really is simply that he is a logical suspect for very obvious reasons. Hopefully he will get his chance in a court of law to tell his side of this story.

First and foremost, posts to this forum are nothing more than individuals who may or may not be close to the situation, sharing their opinions and theories. The facts that have been made public are documented in the articles. Keep in mind, there may be additional facts not yet available for public eyes.

It is the responsibility of the investigating officers to sort through the tips and leads, ultimately determining if they are credible or not. So I say sing like a bird, share what you know, and share what you think.

It is perfectly acceptable for anyone or everyone to contribute to this open discussion in any manner they see fit, assuming it is consistent with the guidelines published by the host and not in violation of a law.

It is however, unacceptable and also illegal to withhold information. And there is one fact that needs to be revisited; individuals who have knowledge of additional information remain at large. I say AT LARGE because being an accessory to such a crime carries consequence. If you know something you need to remember that when you put your head on your pillow this evening.

So keep the discussions flowing; support, defend or act like a buffoon. It's your prerogative and right. Rest in Peace Justine.

I've share info i know with investigators,but they haven't contacted anyone to follow up.

I don't understand what is taking so long. Do the cops even have a clue or what? Why hasn't the autopsy being released?

Time,
The truth will come out at some point. The person or persons who did this will end up paying for what they did. The truth always has a way of coming out.

Even if they release the autopsy report, that may not prove anything. There are ways to make it look like a hit and run. The person(s) who did this know their time is limited. Just a matter of TIME.

If the cops need more time to make sure things are going to be done right give them the time. Once tried you can not be tried again. You don't want there to be any kind of reasonable doubt. Hopefully, it wont take much longer till the person or persons are caught and pay for they have done.

is there any new info?

I am curious as if there are any new developements, this was such a interesting article, but I have not heard about any updates?

For anyone who may not already know, Justine was very ill and feverish that day in school and that night. The last thing she said before leaving the UVA night class was that she was going to go straight home and then go right to bed. Even if she and Eric did argue she would never have left the house in her pajamas in the middle of the night. She would never have gotten out of her car and walked down that pitch black lonely road, in that neighborhood. She was scared of the dark, and too smart to do something that dangerous. I do not know what happened that night.She was unhappy and visibly upset in the days before she was killed. It crossed my mind that perhaps Eric was having an affair, but she never told me that.The posting stating he had sex with another woman so soon after Justine's death does not surprise me.Many of her friends (and family from what I understand) didn't think much of him. I wonder if she didn't discover the "real" Eric until after she married him? Maybe they had a horrible fight and he hit her and she struck her head on something and he and his brother staged this hit and run. Like I said, I have no knowledge of what really happened, this is just a gut feeling of what could've happened. I have a hard time believing anybody could have coldly deliberately set out to kill such a sweet, loving young woman. I still miss her, as do all her friends and students.

P.S. I agree with the comments made regarding keeping the girls out of this. She did love those kids. However, who else but Eric had the means, motive, and opportunity to do her harm? I didn't know him and only met him once. But think about it. Were injuries even consistent with a hit and run? Does anybody other than the police know? Please, somebody, tell the police what you know, no matter what, even if it seems unimportant. Justine deserves justice.

It seems that Eric was a no account,obviously hot headed with those assault charges, no matter how many years ago they were, who cheated on his bride. I hope the cops know who got her insurance money, and if he took the money out of their honeymoon account to buy something (maybe a dump truck?) Or maybe Justine had finally had enough of his crap and was going to leave him?

If Eric is so innocent, why does his story keep changing? Why does he refuse to take a lie detector test? Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Eric is doing nothing but hiding the truth. But just like Scott Peterson got his, Eric will get what's coming to him.

I'd like to remind those posting on this or any other page on our website that potentially libelous statements will be immediately deleted. For a refresher on our policy regarding what's okay to post and what's not, read the warning at the bottom of this and every story.

Best,
Lindsay Barnes

If you would like to receive a Justice for Justine Bracelet, please send an email with your mailing address to: info@justineabshire.com and we will send you one.

It won't be long now. Theyre gong to get you all!