A body was found near the area where a missing Oregon woman was last seen, and investigators believe the remains are that of 20-year-old Allyson Watterson.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Watterson went missing in North Plains, Oregon, in December, and the circumstances of her disappearance have remained murky. She was last seen 30 hours before her boyfriend’s father Don Garland reported her missing, and police were reportedly skeptical of Garland’s claim that Watterson and his son Ben Garland became separated while they were hiking. Police also could not corroborate an account given by Watterson’s mother, claiming that the pair was separated after they were driving in a vehicle that broke down.
Ben Garland, who reportedly has a criminal history, was arrested on unrelated charges shortly after Watterson disappeared. In April, he was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, second-degree theft, and fraudulent use of a credit card.
According to the Oregonian, a property owner near North Plains first discovered human remains while clearing brush in a remote farmland area. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said that the body was found several hundred yards away from the main road, in an area dense with thick brush.
“It’s not easily navigated,” Deputy Shannon Wilde of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office told the Oregonian. “Some of the bushes back in there are blackberry bushes that are bigger than houses.”
After suspending the search for the second time in January, investigators reportedly found items believed to belong to the missing woman in March, but have not disclosed what those items are.
Authorities told the Oregonian they will continue to investigate and search the area, and have not yet collected enough evidence to determine if Watterson was a victim of foul play.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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