NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (KOIN) — A third day of searching for missing 20-year-old Allyson Watterson, last seen Sunday in North Plains, yielded new information and clues but still no trace of her.
About 100 searchers — including about 50 volunteers — scoured the area Thursday. But in a late afternoon update, Washington County Deputy Tony Morris said the search will continue without volunteers.
Morris, the search incident commander, did not disclose what the new information was they discovered.
“We have gotten information that has refocused the type of searching we are going to be doing,” Morris said.
The search on Friday will be slower and more focused with trained personnel.
At a 10 a.m. press conference, Morris said they were expanding the search area and were “chasing down any potential leads” with the help of 50 trained search-and-rescue personnel and about another 50 volunteers.
Most of the search for Watterson is taking place on private property. Morris said “the community has been fantastic” and everyone has agreed to let searchers take a look.
“We haven’t ruled anything out,” Morris said in a press conference shortly after 10 a.m. National Guard helicopters arrived around 12:30 p.m. to help with the search.
Morris also offered a word of advice: “Don’t perpetuate information coming from Facebook.”
He noted a lot of information that is being posted on social media platforms is conjecture and not confirmed.
“If it’s not from the sheriff’s office or the family,” he said, “don’t give any weight to it at all.”
Allyson’s parents briefly spoke at the press conference. Her father, Allan, said they “really appreciate the support we’re getting,” and her mother Misty again asked residents to “please check your property.”
Missing on a hike
Allyson Watterson was last seen Sunday afternoon on a hike with her boyfriend.
Her boyfriend, Benjamin Garland, was in court Thursday on charges unrelated to Allyson being missing. Garland pleaded not guilty in a Washington County court to charges of theft, fraudulent use of credit card, unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Investigators said Allyson and Garland got separated while hiking near Old Pumpkin Ridge Road in a wooded area near North Plains.
She was last seen wearing an orange-yellow hooded sweatshirt, a red backpack, black jeans and brown Calvin Klein boots.
She is white with blue eyes and dark brown hair. She’s about 5-feet-7 and 120 pounds. She has 2 tattoos: an eye on the front of her left shoulder and a fairy sitting on a spider web on her left forearm.
Her family put together a Facebook page to help coordinate in search efforts.
Earlier search efforts
On Christmas Day, a total of 100 people broke into teams to look for Allyson—70 volunteers and 30 trained Search and Rescue members. By 5 p.m. the sheriff’s office wrapped up the search, with a plan to start again Thursday morning.
For those looking to volunteer on Thursday, the WCSO is asking for anyone who has a FRS radio to please bring it with them.
KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.