Friends hold vigil for Karissa and Billy Fretwell


WHEATLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was a somber evening in Yamhill County where friends held a candlelight vigil for Karissa and Billy Fretwell, who have not been seen since May 13. 

Friend and strangers gathered at the Maud Williamson Recreation Site near Wheatland, refusing to give up hope that the young mother and her son will return home safe.

Mykeal Moats organized a candlelight vigil to remind people that Karissa Fretwell and her son, Billy, are still missing. (KOIN) 

“We’re still looking and we’re still hopeful for the safe return of Karissa and Billy,” vigil organizer Mykeal Moats said. “I just felt like after the news and the updates we got, that was kind of disheartening and that we needed something to bring us together and remain hopeful for their return.” 

Karissa, 25, and her 3-year-old son were reported missing May 17. Last Friday, Michael Wolfe — Billy’s biological father — was arrested at Blue Star Donuts in downtown Portland.  

Friends said the vigil was not meant to remember Karissa and Billy but to remind people they’re still missing.

Moats first met Karissa while they were studying at Chemeketa Community College. She’s hoping someone knows something to help find them.

“I have a 2-year-old so it’d be like me being in the same situation and I’d hope everyone would get the word out there and let people know what’s going on so that if anyone has any information on it at all,” Moat said. 

Undated photos of Karissa and Billy Fretwell. (Courtesy of Salem PD) 

Detectives from the Salem Police Department took 52-year-old Wolfe into custody on 2 counts of aggravated murder and 2 counts of kidnapping. 

Law enforcement officials said the charges do not mean Karissa Fretwell and her son William are dead; however, officers said there was probable cause for an arrest. The search for the pair is ongoing. 

“Everybody involved in this case continues to hope for a safe return for Karissa and William,”​​​​Salem Police Department Lt. Treven Upkes said.

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