GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Loved ones are still holding onto hope that police will find the person who killed a Greensboro mother and son three years ago.
Gov. Roy Cooper's office is now offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest in the killing of Asia Brown, 22, and her 2-year-old son Ashton.
The grass has grown over the spot on an access road off Thurston Avenue where Greensboro city workers first spotted a burned car in 2015.
“They observed what they thought were human remains," said Cpl. Mike Matthews, the head investigator in this case.
The victims' bodies were so badly burned, it took months to identify them. Medical examiners were never able to identify how they died, which police say has been one of many roadblocks in this case.
"Unfortunately that was one of the answers we couldn't get," Matthews said.
Police say Asia and Ashton were found in a 2005 Buick Lacrosse on Feb. 23, 2015. Asia had just bought the car three days before. Around 1:30 p.m. on February 20, Asia registered her new car at a DMV in High Point. About an hour later, she bought car parts at the AutoZone on Randleman Road in Greensboro.
“That was the last time she was seen alive," Matthews said.
Surveillance video from AutoZone shows Asia shopping in the store alone, without Ashton. After three years, police still have not confirmed where Ashton was during that time.
"One of the things we’re stressing to the public is if Ashton was dropped off somewhere, and someone watched him for a few minutes or 30 minutes or an hour, we definitely want to talk to that person," Matthews said. "We haven’t had anybody come forward and tell us that yet and we don’t have any evidence leading us at this time.”
A co-worker reported Asia as missing on Sunday, Feb. 22. Police say figuring out what happened in the hours and minutes after that trip to AutoZone are crucial to solving this case.
“Asia did not show up for work on Saturday or Sunday, so our belief is that, more than likely, the vehicle was put down there in short proximity to the last time she was seen alive," Matthew said.
After three years of dead ends, Matthew applied for reward money from Cooper's office. Governor's reward money is not immediately available for every homicide investigation. Detectives must prove that they've exhausted every avenue to attempt to solve the case.
“We’ve chased every lead," he said. "We’ve done everything forensically we can do and we get to this point where, I don’t want to call it a cold case, because we’re still working on this case now, but we get to a point where we really don’t have a lot of avenues to go.”
Matthews hopes the money will motivate someone to come forward with new leads.
“We just need the information so we can bring closure to this case so we can bring justice to Asia and Ashton Brown," he said.
If you have information in this case, you can contact Matthews directly at (336) 574-4030. You can also report tips anonymously through Greensboro CrimeStoppers at (336) 373-1000.