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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 01/10/2011

Ashley Turton: the tributes begin

By Melissa Bell
Ashley Turton
(Screengrab from Facebook)

In the early morning hours on Monday, a woman's body was discovered in the partially burned garage of a Capitol Hill home. By noon, details emerged Ashley Turton, 37, a energy company lobbyist, mother of three and wife of Daniel Turton, the White House's deputy director of legislative affairs, had died in the fire.

Progress Energy, where Turton worked as a regulatory affairs analyst, released this statement from CEO Bill Johnson:

Ashley was a valued employee whose insight and hard work had been critical on so many of our legislative and regulatory issues. She was also a dear friend to many of us and this news is very hard to take. I know we all will keep her husband, children and parents in our thoughts and prayers. Today is an eventful day for us as employees of Progress Energy. Ashley's tragic death reminds us all to keep perspective in all things.

Messages of sympathy began to roll out on Twitter:

Shocked and saddened by the passing of Ashley Turton. My thoughts and prayers are with Dan and their children.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

@rolandsmartin @RussertXM_NBC yep, Ashley Turton was a terrific person. Thoughts are with her husband Dan and three kids, so sadless than a minute ago via web

RIP Ashley Turton. She was a dear friend/colleague to the lobbyists I work with here. Idk what's going on, but it's getting shady.less than a minute ago via SocialScope

It has been a really bad week, first Rep. Giffords and now Ashley Turton. My prayers are with them and their families.less than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

Heartbroken by the death of former high school pal, Ashley Westbrook, more recently known as Ashley Turton.less than a minute ago via Twitterrific

By Melissa Bell  | January 10, 2011; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Ashley was a great friend to many. She loved her family and enjoyed being a part of the political process. She also had many Republican friends, who while differed on issues, would try to understand them as people. This is a great loss.

Posted by: emortimer1 | January 10, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

A woman crashes a car in a home garage at low speed; it catches fire; she burns to death. This story isn't even plausible. We owe it to Ashley's memory to demand answers.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | January 10, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I worked with Ashley many years ago when she was an assistant in the North Carolina Governor's Office. It's very sad that someone with so much talent and vigor would be taken so early. God bless you Ashley and your family.

Posted by: anewkirk1 | January 10, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I am schocked and saddened to see the news that my college friend and classmate Ashley Westbrook (Turton) has tragically died. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Posted by: NCSUWolf1995 | January 10, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

So, so sad. Having known Ashley and her family for over 40 years, I greive. What a wonderful family. Prayers go out to you all.

Posted by: marymcelveen | January 11, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Ashley was a student of mine in N.C. State in 2000, and left mid-semester to take on her new job with Rep. DeLauro. She was a wonderful person.

Posted by: bob_kochersberger | January 11, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Very sad news. My thoughts and prayers for her children and husband.

Posted by: garrafa10 | January 12, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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