Man's shooting death at his home a year ago remains unsolved Family members say slaying of Pasadena father brings pain this holiday

December 24, 1997|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Christmas will never be the same for Ashley Holtgreve.

Her father, James Francis Holtgreve, 32, was shot and killed at his Pasadena home Dec. 23 as he opened the front door. Police do not know who killed him.

"It's a tough case," Detective Richard Alban said. "There's been a lack of people to come forward. Some people knew him, but only a certain aspect of his life."

Alban said he is getting new leads on the case and is following up on old ones.

People who live near Holtgreve's house in the secluded 700 block of Seaborne Court described him as a friendly and helpful neighbor. An only child, Holtgreve grew up in Brooklyn Park, studied electronics at the Center for Applied Technology North and owned an electrical contracting company, Allstate Electric, at the time of his death.

He enjoyed weightlifting and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, and belonged to the Pagans, a south county motorcycle group.

His mother, Naoma Blankenship, said Holtgreve was very close to Ashley, now 8.

"He would take her to the movies, bathe her, and he could fix her hair better than me," she said. "His daughter was his pride and joy. He called her his little princess, and she called him her cupcake. Whenever they signed cards, it was always Little Princess and Cupcake."

Blankenship had made plans with her son last year for Christmas Eve.

"He had called me the night before to ask if it would be all right if we had Christmas Eve, and then leave Ashley here a couple days," she said. "About 8 a.m. the next morning, the detectives came. They told me he was dead, and then right after they said it wasn't an accident."

Police said someone came to the front door of the gray, two-story house between 9: 30 p.m. and midnight, knocked, and as Holtgreve answered, opened fire with a small-caliber weapon. Nothing was taken from the home.

A housemate who called police found Holtgreve's body just inside the door at about 12: 30 a.m. He had been shot several times, police said, including at least once in the head.

"It's so very hard to accept and believe," Blankenship said. "I don't have any holiday spirit. The holidays are going to be very tough."

Pub Date: 12/24/97

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