Missouri couple burned and moved body of missing Arkansas woman Ashley Bush

McDONALD COUNTY, Mo. — Federal investigators filed probable cause for Kidnapping with an Intent to Kill against a rural Pineville couple.

Ashley Bush was 31 weeks pregnant and went missing on Monday, October 31, 2022.

She was reported missing to the Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s office by her boyfriend, Joshua Willis, the father of the child she was carrying. Willis located Ashley’s phone discarded along Hwy 43, north of Maysville, Ark. He allowed investigators to have password access and take the phone for investigation.

Willis told police Ashley had gone with “Lucy” to a Bentonville, Ark. job interview but never returned.  “Lucy” was a female they had recently met at the Gravette, Ark. Public Library.

Investigators allege that “Lucy” was Amber Waterman and she was seeking someone with a baby or pregnant. “Lucy Barrows” account on FB was newly created and posted on social media on October 24, 2022:

Lucy Barrows post: I have a bunch of baby items if any moms to be need them.

That post was shared across the area.

Additionally, on Amber Waterman’s FB account she posted September 6, 2022, some sonogram photos of a baby claiming to be pregnant.

Investigators say the defendant, Amber Waterman, targeted Ashley Bush. She wanted, “Ashley Bush’s child as the defendant’s child, and willfully transport Ashley Bush in interstate commerce from Maysville, Arkansas, across the state line to Pineville, Missouri, the actions of the defendant resulting in the death of [Bush].”


Arkansas investigators requested records related to Bush’s email and phones. Clues led them to McDonald County, Missouri.

Arkansas investigators contacted McDonald County Sheriff’s Detectives in Missouri regarding their missing persons case and the connection to 1848 Laughlin Ridge Road.

Detectives went to the property on November 1, 2022, and the Watermans gave them consent to search the property.

Amber Waterman’s tan pickup had a presence of blood in it. However, it was explained as the night before Amber had suffered a miscarriage.

McDonald County Sheriff Rob Evenson told KOAM’s Shannon Becker the Watermans called 911 en route to a hospital Monday evening, October 31, 2022, claiming she had delivered a baby that was not responsive.

The couple was intercepted by the ambulance at Longview, Mo., where life-saving measures were not successful. The baby died.

According to court documents,

“JAMIE WATERMAN stated that when Benton County detectives arrived at his residence on November 2,2022, he was aware that Ms. Bush had been reported as missing. JAMIE WATERMAN learned of this through social media coverage. After the detectives left the residence at approximately 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2,2022, AMBER WATERMAN informed JAMIE WATERMAN that she had killed Ms. Bush and then quickly changed her story and said that “Lucy” had killed Ms. Bush.”

“At approximately 6:30 a.m., AMBER WATERMAN led JAMIE WATERMAN to Ms. Bush’s body.” – Court Documents

The couple tried to burn Bush’s body with chainsaw bar chain oil and wood. After an hour, Amber allegedly doused the fire with water and Jamie removed the body from the burn pile. They moved the body to another place not far.

Full Court Documents Statements out of Missouri Federal Court

You can read the Probable Cause Statements below, or click here.


Release from the US Dept. of Justice, Western District of Missouri


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