Charges Made in Ashley Combs Case

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Charges Made in Ashley Combs Case

Shannon Murphy, Staff Writer

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Three people are charged in the interference of the return of Toms River girl Ashley Combs, including her biological parents, police said.

Brian Combs, Mechelle Combs and Linda Roszel were arrested late Wednesday night. Brian Combs was charged with willful interference of custody of Ashley Combs. Mechelle Combs and Roszel were charged with interference and obstruction in an investigation, police said.

Last Friday, Ashley Combs was reported missing after she did not return home from Toms River High School North, police said. She was reported missing by her uncle, Rob Nieratko, her custodial parent, officials said.

Ashley Combs was likely staying with her family in this area willingly, police said. Ashley Combs was moved between houses during the investigation to keep her hidden, police said.

Allegations of mistreatment by the Nieratkos were a possible factor, officials said. Nieratko’s council denies these allegations.

“My clients fully expected that the birth parents would make false accusations against them in order to justify their actions,” Jef Henniger, Nieratko’s lawyer, said.

Additional charges are pending upon further information, police said.