Held Hostage By My Father: Ashley

An Unthinkable Childhood
News agencies report:

“A 47-year-old grandfather allegedly got his own young daughter pregnant — four times — and allegedly killed at least one of the offspring.”

“The remains of two babies were found in coolers on property where the family once lived.”

“And of the four, three children are dead.”

“The charges against 47-year-old Danial Rinehart begin with incest and end with murder.”

“Ashley Rinehart ... told of how her father first had sex with her when she was 5, and then at age 14, and each year after, being pregnant with child.”

“Danial Rinehart's wife, Linda Rinehart, is accused of endangering her children’s welfare as well as hindering the prosecution of her husband.”

“Linda told investigators she knew Danial was molesting her daughter and even helped with the births.”

Ashley, 22, remembers: “My father raped me from when I was 5 years old, all the way until I was 18, every day, twice a day. I was 8 years old when my father had me perform oral sex. Dad would take me over to Grandpa’s garage. He would put me on a steel bench. It was dirty. It was greasy. We would play doctor. He would say, ‘We need to check you out,’ and then eventually just started raping me. It would last an hour. I was never allowed to scream or cry. He would get on top of me and try to make me put my arms around him. I felt very, very disgusting. Afterward, he would take me to the 7-Eleven. He would go in, buy Little Debbie sweets. It was his way of telling me to keep my mouth shut. I did feel like his sex slave. He didn’t even think about my feelings. I knew it was wrong. I told him it was wrong. But he just continued. He never knew when to stop,” she says, growing tearful. “He never did. I knew if I ever did try to get away, he would hunt me down and kill me,” she says.

[AD]Ashley says she was in the sixth grade when she was taken out of school and locked away. “Danial padlocked me in the camper. I was never allowed to go to family get-togethers, or birthday parties or any holiday things. I had no chance of telling anybody. He took my virginity, and it’s something I’ll never get back. Why would a father do that to a daughter?” she asks.“First, Ashley, let me say how proud I am that you have the courage to be here today and talk about this,” Dr. Phil tells her. “How did this begin with you at 5?”

“My mom was never around,” she says. She explains that it began with her father taking her into a garage and "playing doctor."

“Did you scream? Did you cry?” he asks.

“I couldn’t scream because he would hold my mouth,” she says. Afterward, she would cry. “I was scared. I didn’t know what was going on. I was scared and just … I wanted to get out of there so badly,” she says.

Dr. Phil asks about Ashley’s sudden absence from school in sixth grade. “Did the school miss you? Did they ever come to the house looking for you?” he asks.

[AD]“They had called DFS on us a couple of times. By the time they got out there, my parents had run with us,” she says.  

Dr. Phil shows a photo of a camper that is similar to the one Ashley was locked in from age 13 to 18, when she gave birth to four of her father’s children. It is a very small and cramped space. Ashley slept in the front part of the camper.

Ashley says although there was a house where her sisters and mother lived, she wasn’t allowed to be around any family. “I was not allowed to be with the family when they had family time. Even for holidays, I was padlocked in the camper,” she says.In a previous interview, Ashley recalls her four pregnancies. “When I was 13, I became pregnant for the first time with Danial’s child,” she remembers. “I was not allowed to go to the doctor for checkups.” In 2004, Ashley gave birth to a baby girl. “Her name was Ethel. She was the sweetest little thing. When I went into labor, he tried to punch me in my face to keep me quiet. He delivered the baby. It was really painful. I was scared.”

In 2005, Ashley had her second child. “I gave birth to my son, in the seat of the truck,” she says. “My parents were outside. I had to be silent. The umbilical cord was cut the very next morning.”

In 2006, Ashley had another boy. “I gave birth to my son, Jack. No hospital, no medical treatment for him after he arrived,” she says.

In 2008, Ashley had her fourth child by her father. “Goldie was my fourth child. Danial didn’t have any rubbing alcohol or anything that was sterilized,” she says, growing tearful. “My father still continued to have sex with me without protection. He wouldn’t even get me on birth control. It was a miracle that I didn’t get pregnant again.”

[AD]“I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this,” Dr. Phil tells her. “You said, ‘I never got a break. He just wouldn’t stop raping me.’”

“Never,” she says. “Almost every day, every night.”

Ashley goes back to her first two pregnancies and how she gave birth alone and in silence.


Find out what happened when Ashley had two more children.


Tragically, only one of Ashley’s children survived.
Ashley tours the property where she was padlocked inside a camper. “This is a scary place,” she says. “I lived here for five, six years, and within that time, I had four children here. My children were buried on top of the ground here.”  

Ashley opens up about the tragic deaths of three of her children. “Ethel only lived to be 4 months old. She fell off the couch and hurt her head, and the next morning, I found her dead,” she says, breaking down in tears. “Danial put Ethel in a shallow grave. People were walking on her grave. He buried her three times and dug her up three times.

“Jack was 4 months old when he passed. He passed away of pneumonia in my arms. [His body] stayed in the camper for at least two weeks. He was so stiff. His eyes turned dark. The soft spot on top of his head had sunk in. He started to smell, and it just lingered. [Danial] put him in a cooler.

“Goldie had come out stillborn. I had no idea what that meant,” she says. “She was limp. Her eyes wouldn’t open. I said, ‘Is she OK?’ He told me she didn’t make it. I just cried because I lost another child. I had no way of helping my children. It still bothers me, and I just can’t get over it.”

Back onstage, Ashley cries. Dr. Phil expresses his condolences.

Ashley shares that after Ethel died, her father couldn’t decide where to bury her, so he kept digging her up and moving the body.

When Jack got sick, Ashley says she told her father that he needed to get some medicine. Her father promised her he would in the morning. She fell asleep with her son in her arms, and when she woke, he had passed away.

“What did your father say about why God took this baby?” Dr. Phil asks.  

“He told me the reason why God took this baby was because I was giving more time to the baby than I was to my other son, who was 2 1/2 years old,” she says.

[AD]She says she woke her father up to tell him that Jack died. “And it didn’t bother him,” she says. Jack’s body was kept in the camper for almost two weeks before being placed inside a cooler.

Ashley’s fourth child was stillborn. She cries as she explains that she never even got to hold Goldie.