‘Evidence of homicide’ sought in missing Salem mom, son

Missing Persons

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A search warrant left outside of a missing Salem woman’s apartment suggests investigators are looking for evidence of a homicide and the bodies of the woman and her 3-year-old son. 

Karissa Fretwell and her son Billy haven’t been seen since May 13. The 25-year-old woman and her son were reported missing May 17. Michael John Wolfe, 52, is wanted for questioning in their disappearances. 

A search warrant left inside an SUV parked outside of a missing Salem woman's apartment suggests investigators are looking for evidence of a homicide and the bodies of the woman and her 3-year-old son, May 23, 2019. (KOIN) 

The search warrant was seen by KOIN 6 News on Thursday night inside of an SUV parked outside of Karissa Fretwell’s home in the 1000 block of Ruge Street Northwest. Authorities appear to have left the warrant within plain sight, lying on the front driver’s side seat of the green Mercury Mountaineer. 

Earlier in the investigation, a college financial aid application that appeared to be signed by Fretwell was found on the passenger seat of the very same SUV. 

Based on images taken of the search warrant at the scene, investigators are looking for “evidence of criminal homicide” and evidence that could include “the bodies of Karissa Alyn Fretwell … and her son, William Alan Fretwell II.” 

The search

Earlier on Thursday, law enforcement agencies converged on 2 rural properties in Yamhill County — one in Gaston, the other in Hopewell — to look for Fretwell and her little boy. 

At a 2 p.m. press conference in Hopewell near the spot of one of the searches, Salem Police Lt. Treven Upkes said the searches began Thursday after information gathered during the investigation led them to these properties.

KOIN 6 News discovered a connection between the owner of the property in Gaston and Karissa and Billy Fretwell.

Yamhill County property records show the Phillips Road property belongs to Michael Wolfe and his wife.

Court records obtained by KOIN 6 News show Karissa Fretwell took Wolfe — who lives at that address — to court to request he pay child support for her son, Billy. 

Those court records also show a DNA test proved Wolfe is Billy’s biological father. 

Authorities said Thursday that Wolfe is a person of interest and wanted for questioning. 

It’s not clear at this time what the connection is between Wolfe and the field in Hopewell.

This is a developing story. KOIN 6 News will have more information as soon as possible. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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