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According to Ashley, Nichols said he would not harm her, but he wanted to take a shower. She says he bound her hands and legs, and carried her into the bathroom. Ashley says that what happened next gave her hope that she could survive: "He said, 'I'm going to put this towel over your head so you don't have to watch me take a shower.' And right then I was thinking, 'Are you respecting me?' Here I am thinking that this man's going to kill me but now he's putting a towel over my head so I don't have to watch him take a shower."
After Nichols draped a towel over her head, Ashley says she continued to talk with Nichols. She says her strategy was to "just to try to relate to him. Try to get some common ground between us. And then make it out of there alive. I had to make him feel like I was a person just like him."