Friend: Missing mom ‘scared’ of son’s father

Missing Persons

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Friends and neighbors are worried about what investigators might find as the search continues for a missing Salem woman and her young 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. 

Fretwell’s former roommate told KOIN 6 News on Thursday she enjoyed going to concerts with her missing friend who she described as “a super outgoing person, she was just always smiling.”  

But Niccomi Holcomb now worries if her friend is even still alive. 

Holcomb said she thinks the biological father of Fretwell’s son may have had a hand in her former roommate’s disappearance. 

On Thursday, authorities identified Michael John Wolfe as a person of interest wanted for questioning. 

Court records obtained by KOIN 6 News show Fretwell took Wolfe 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 father. The two met while working together at Cascade Steel in McMinnville, Holcomb said. Wolfe is also a former volunteer firefighter with the Gaston Fire Department. 

“I know they had some problems because he was married and she was a little scared of him,” Holcomb said. “Because after she got pregnant, he did threaten her at one time.” 

According to Holcomb, Fretwell confided in her that Wolfe didn’t want anyone to find out about their son — and that if she told his wife, “he would hurt her.” 

Fretwell’s neighbors told KOIN 6 News they heard Fretwell and a man arguing on several occasions. Police responded to one such argument a couple of months ago. 

“There was an argument,” said neighbor Valerie Hendl. “Karissa was screaming and yelling at the man and telling him to not touch Billy and to get out.” 

Several neighbors have many unanswered questions but some were still holding out hope that Fretwell and Billy would be found safe. 

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