Section: Capital Region,  Page: B6

Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010

ALBANY -- City police, now fully involved with Rensselaer cops in the search for a missing young mother, searched a part of Whitehall Road Friday for evidence, apparently coming up empty.

Three weeks have passed since Ashley Marie Carroll, 24, disappeared after telling friends she was meeting up with a boyfriend in the area of First Street in Albany.

Albany police spokesman Detective James Miller said the search began around 7:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Whitehall Road near Marlboro Court, not far from Harriet Myers Middle School.

"They were searching for evidence," Miller said. He would not comment on whether police are looking for the body of the single mom. Relatives have said Carroll does not have a history of just taking off and was a good mother. She has been missing since May 6.

"They were there for a couple of hours, and I don't believe they found anything," Miller said.

Carroll lives in Troy with her 1-year-old daughter, Arionnah. She was reported missing by her mother in Rensselaer, where Carroll previously lived. The child is being cared for by relatives.

Albany detectives have talked to scores of people, including a female friend of Carroll's, who dropped her off at Quail and First streets in the West Hill neighborhood, police have said. Carroll did not have a car.

Rensselaer Sgt. Tony Nagengast has identified the Albany boyfriend as Jermon McLean. He has been questioned by Rensselaer and Albany police.

Family members have said Carroll was arguing with McLean through text messaging. A relative also has said Carroll intended to go to New York City to visit a friend after her meeting with McLean. There is no indication she ever made that trip, and the friend in New York told Albany police he hadn't heard from her and had no idea she intended to visit.

Last week, the woman's family made up a Facebook page with various photos of Carroll, hoping it would produce leads. She has hazel eyes, long brown hair and olive skin, is 5 feet 5 and weighs about 140 pounds. A $5,000 reward is being offered in the case. Albany detectives are at 462-8039; Rensselaer police at 462-7451.

Carol DeMare can be reached at 454-5431 or by e-mail at cdemare@timesunion.com.