Authorities in Oregon believe they have found the remains of a 20-year-old woman who went missing three days before Christmas after she and her boyfriend became separated while on a hiking trip in the woods.
Washington County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a rural area of North Plains just before 5pm on Saturday after a property owner noticed something unusual while clearing brush.
Investigators who arrived at the scene believe that the remains are those of Allyson Joy Watterson.
Watterson’s family has been notified of the development.
Allyson Joy Watterson, 20, went missing three days before Christmas while she and her boyfriend were on a hiking trip in rural Oregon
Benjamin Hunter Garland (left), Watterson’s (right) boyfriend, was arrested on unrelated charges on December 23.
Washington County sheriff’s deputies on Saturday said they believe human remains found on private property in North Plains are those of Watterson
Investigators plan to spend Sunday combing through the area looking for evidence.
The remains were found just a day after Watterson’s mother posted a heartfelt message on her Facebook page remembering her daughter.
‘This is my beautiful, amazing courageous incredible daughter,’ Misty Watterson wrote on her Facebook page on Friday.
‘The day she was taken out of my life will forever be the worst darkest day any mother could experience.
‘To whom is responsible for taking my daughter out of my life I want you to know that you took my life my breath my soul my everything has been ripped away from me and my life and those lives around me that love and adore this child will forever be dark until she comes home to us.’
Misty Watterson wrote: ‘They say that time heals all wounds and I’m here to tell you that it’s just not true the time actually makes it more dark than you can even imagine.
The remains were found just a day after Watterson’s mother posted a heartfelt message on her Facebook page remembering her daughter
‘To whomever is responsible for taking my child out of my life I want you to know that I will never stop looking for her I want you to know that she has the biggest most powerful and loving army of people behind her and we will never stop searching for her.’
Police and volunteers began searching for Allyson on December 23 when Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies received reports of a missing woman in a wooded area near North Plains, which lies about 20 miles northwest of Portland.
Shortly after Allyson’s disappearance, her boyfriend, Benjamin Hunter Garland, was arrested on unrelated charges.
In April, Garland was sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to several charges, including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fraudulent use of a credit card and second-degree theft.
Additionally, his probation was revoked on charges of unlawful use of a weapon, attempted coercion, fourth-degree assault and obliteration or change of a firearm identification number.
Days after Watterson went missing, Garland was arrested on several unrelated charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to online records. In April, he pleaded guilty to several charges, resulting in a three-year prison sentence
Watterson was last seen during the day on December 22 while she was hiking with Garland, 21.
He is reportedly cooperating with the investigation into Watterson’s disappearance.
According to Fox 12, Garland was arrested the day after Watterson went missing.
Garland reportedly told sheriff’s deputies that they became separated during the hike and he was able to find his way out of the area.
Police said Watterson’s family hasn’t heard from her since the morning of December 20.
‘Allyson is a free spirit, kind of your true definition of like, hippie,’ Watterson’s aunt, Macy, told Fox 12. ‘She’s our girl.’