Woman, 20, missing, boyfriend held on unrelated charges

Missing Persons

Allyson Watterson has been missing since December 22

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (KOIN) — As the search for missing 20-year-old Allyson Watterson continues, her boyfriend is in the Washington County Jail on charges unrelated to the search.

Benjamin Hunter Garland is the last person to be seen with her, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said. She was reportedly last seen hiking with Garland near Old Pumpkin Ridge Road in a wooded area near North Plains on Sunday.

According to deputies, Allyson and her boyfriend got separated while hiking.

KOIN 6 News confirmed a neighbor near Old Pumpkin Ridge Road found Garland asleep in his truck and took him back to his house. Garland and his dad went back to look for Allyson. When they couldn’t find her, they contacted the sheriff’s office.

The boyfriend is cooperating with the investigation, which is not a criminal investigation at this point.

She was last seen wearing an orange-yellow hooded sweatshirt, a red backpack, black jeans and brown Calvin Klein boots.

Benjamin Hunter Garland, December 24, 2019 (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

He is expected to be in court on Thursday on a stolen vehicle charge plus a bench warrant for possession of meth.

“We have definitely questioned him and heard everything that he has to say,” Washington County Deputy Brian Van Kleef said. “At this point there is no criminal investigation, so we don’t have any other information other than that.”

Watterson is white with blue eyes and naturally brown hair dyed teal. 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.

Family reaction

Her family said they have not heard from her since Friday morning.

“I am just devastated. I am panicked, that’s my child, my baby,” said her mother, Misty Watterson. “She is out there scared and alone and waiting for someone to rescue her. She’s a good girl and I know she just wants to be home for Christmas.”

Misty said Allyson and Garland haven’t been together very long, “but they’ve known each other a long time though. It’s a steady relationship.”

Her aunt, Billy Macy, said it’s unlike Allyson not to be home. “There is no reason to believe that she is trying to avoid being out with her family.”

The Wattersons got the authorities involved and there are a few dozen searchers out looking for her.

Van Kleef said there about 25 to 30 searchers on the ground, including a K9 unit.

“We are also being helped by the Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue who are out of Clackamas County,” Van Kleef said. “We are very grateful for their help as well.”

A lot of the search area is private property, he said. Authorities “did a reverse-911 call to sort of speed things up and reach out to those property owners who can call and help clear their property for searching.”

“If you own a property or live on a property that has any, maybe, abandoned cars, or sheds where someone would try to get warm, hide or seek shelter in, if you could just go check those places, maybe one you wouldn’t think to,” Misty said.

She also said any volunteers searchers are welcome to stop by North Plains Elementary and pick up some flyers.

Christmas is Allyson’s favorite time of the year, her mother said, and she wants her to come home. She worries about the possibilities, though.

“If you are someone who is not letting her come home, please, please, please let my daughter come home. She is my whole life she is everything to me.”

If anyone has any information, please contact WCSO’s non-emergency line at 503.629.0111.

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