Saturday evening, 15-year-old Ashley Lane left their family’s hotel room to attend an event at a Columbus Anime Convention (Ohayocon). They didn’t return. At first their parents thought they might have run away, but they left behind their glasses, coat and phone charger. Now they suspect something worse has happened.
There’s no simple way to explain the gender identity of this 15-year-old. “There are days when he’ll get up, get dressed as a girl, and he’s Ashley, and she’s our daughter,” explained Denver Karshner, Ashley’s stepfather. “Then there’s days she’ll get up and she’ll dress masculine and he’s our son, he’s Ray.”
But there’s no confusion about the love of these parents.
“Whatever our child wants to be, my wife and I are going to support her, or him,” Denver adds. Karshner and his wife Karalea Lane have been bringing their family to Ohayocon for years. They say in that diverse, welcoming environment, Ray felt comfortable being Ashley.
They say Saturday night Ashley left their room at the Hampton Inn and Suites and walked across High Street to the Convention Center for a dance party from 10 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. That was the last they heard from her.
Ashley is 15-years-old, six feet tall with a slender build, brown eyes, and magenta-colored hair. Their parents say they were wearing ballet shoes, nylon stockings, a short black and white dress, and a red Ohayocon wrist band with the number 06738.
Anyone with information on Ashley Lane’s whereabouts after 10:00 p.m. on January 31 are asked to call the Columbus Police Department in Ohio at 614-645-4545, or call 911 and ask for the Columbus Police Department.
Note – I have included Ashley’s old name (assigned at birth and still their legal name) because their gender identity as described by family seems to be nuanced and complicated. It is possible someone might be able to provide information about Ray Lane as well as Ashley Lane depending on how they are presenting themselves. I hope that soon Ashley will be safely home to tell us in their own words how they want to be described.