John Wonder is a Kansas City, Missouri, man who is accused of murdering his estranged wife, Ashli Ehrhardt, and then writing a string of text messages about the homicide.
Be forewarned that the details of the death are graphic and disturbing. Missouri court records say that Wonder is accused of murder in the first degree and “armed criminal action.”
Bail was set at $1 million, according to the court records. Although some news sites gave the victim’s name as Ashli Erhardt, her mother and court records (concerning minor traffic violations) spell it Ashli Ehrhardt.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. John Wonder Is Accused of Writing, ‘Sorry About the Mess’ & ‘They Will Be Finding Her Body Right About Now’
According to KSHB-TV, Wonder is accused of stabbing and strangling his estranged wife.
They were going through a divorce, and she was planning to move out on October 1; her father discovered her body in a laundry room, according to the television station. A bungee cord secured the door, and the word “Wonder” was written in blood on Ehrhardt’s leg, with a butcher knife and meat cleaver laying nearby, according to KMBC-TV.
Wonder’s sister said he sent her a text message that said, “Hey kiddo. Sorry about the mess. For the record: it’s way easier and much more satisfying than you can imagine. See you around,” according to KSHB.
The television station reported that he sent messages to other friends, including one reading “they will be finding her body right about now” and another saying he was headed to Fargo, North Dakota.
KMBC reported that other text messages attributed to Wonder read:
“Hey bud. Sorry to make you the receiver of this, but I have to share with someone. I’m about to throw my phone out the windows and will continue North to Fargo. I’m not trying to get away. Just feel like driving, far, far away.”
He is accused of writing: “still haven’t cried. Still feel nothing. No more anxiety, though. That’s a plus.”
“Now depleted, in anger I placed her gemstones set next to her body. Her third-eye shakra, her moonstone, blah blah blah – a lot of good they did you, hun.”
“Part of me wants to get drunk and watch Shawshank Redemption one last time; however, I think it is time for me to go. Goodbye house.”
“I’m in the car. I have no doubt I will be caught today. [Redacted] What a gal. To honor her, I will not go out by a gunshot (suicide by cop) but by, hopefully, a similar fate as [redacted].”
“Some small town in Northern Mo – I’m guessing they will be finding her body right about now. I started getting calls at 9:30 a.m. I’m sure [redacted] phone received the same.”
2. Ashli Ehrhardt’s Mother Wrote That Her Heart Is ‘Completely Shattered,’ Remembering Her Daughter as a ‘Beautiful Young Woman’ Who was Mother to a Young Son
Lisa Spencer wrote on Facebook: “This is a post no parent wants to make. Several of you have heard already or seen the news. Closest family and friends have been surrounding us ❤️ my heart is completely shattered.. my daughter, Ashli Ehrhardt Wonder was senselessly murdered in her home Friday.”
Spencer added: “She is the beautiful young woman that gave us our beloved grandbabies, who are safe and in our care… I am not able to share the details past that at this time for many reasons. I appreciate everyone that has reached out and am grateful that you continue to do so. This journey of losing a child in this way is going to be very long.”
According to Spencer, “This little tiny boy, was told today that he would never see his mommy again 💔 this is the mommy fountain that he has already created in her memory. We will make sure she is remembered in our home every single minute of every single day.”
3. Ashli Ehrhardt & John Wonder Married in 2019
In October 2019, Ehrhardt’s mother wrote, “Introducing the Wonder family ❣️John, Ashli and Brooks Wonder…so happy to have a new son-in-law. John and Ashli made it official in a private ceremony earlier this evening! Brooks is happy that mommy and daddy are married 👰 🎩 💍”
She shared a photo showing Ehrhardt with Wonder and their child.
People filled the comment thread with congratulations. Other photos on Spencer’s Facebook page indicate the couple later also had a daughter.
4. John Wonder, Who Was Going Through a Divorce From Ashli Ehrhardt, Has a Past Protection Order Case
There was a 2019 protection order case against a John Wonder, date of birth in 1992 (same as the suspect), in Kansas City, Missouri. The court records say he was banned from possessing a firearm and stalking the victim.
The couple was going through a divorce but still living in the same home, according to KSHB, which added that they had two children together, ages 2 and 4.
“An amazing person that is gone way too soon,” said Irene Ecklund, of Earhardt, to KCTV5. “An amazing person.”
5. John Wonder Was Arrested in Valentine, Nebraska
According to the Kansas City Star, the suspect accused in Ehrhardt’s murder was arrested nearly eight hours away from the home where her body was discovered on Friday, September 22, 2023.
He was arrested in Valentine, Nebraska, the Star reported.
According to the Star, around 10:30 a.m. Friday, police went to the home after receiving a call from Ehrhardt’s employer who became concerned when she did not show up for work. Wonder also worked for that company, according to KSHB.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Buffett’s Wife, Jane Slagsvol