WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. — A 20-year-old woman went missing near North Plains in rural Washington County shortly before Christmas.
Here’s a timeline of events involving the disappearance and search for Allyson Watterson.
- Dec. 20: This is the day Allyson’s family was last in contact with her.
- Dec. 22, shortly before noon: A homeowner north of North Plains reports seeing Allyson with her boyfriend, Benjamin Hunter Garland.
- Dec. 23, morning: A different homeowner in the area wakes up to find Garland “soaked to the bone” sleeping in the backseat of the homeowners pickup truck. The homeowner told KGW he took Garland home.
- Dec. 23, 5:30 p.m.: Garland’s father reports Allyson as missing, about 30 hours after she was last sighted. Garland’s father says he believes Garland and Allyson were hiking.
- Dec. 23, evening: After receiving the report, deputies begin searching the area north of North Plains and find a truck they learn was stolen. A short time later, deputies find Garland in the same area. He is taken into custody on unrelated charges and warrants, in addition to charges connected with the stolen truck.
- Dec. 24: First day of the search for Allyson.
- Dec. 25: Second day of the search for Allyson.
- Dec. 26, morning: The search area expands with nearly 100 people looking for Allyson, including volunteer searchers.
- Dec. 26, late afternoon: Washington County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinator Tony Morris says searchers found “interesting items and clues.” He doesn’t specify what the clues are. He says the search on Friday will be refocused on a concentrated area that has already been scoured. Only trained personnel will be part of that search.
- Dec. 27, morning: The search enters its fourth day with search and rescue teams from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office helping.
- Dec. 27, noon: At a press conference, Morris says he’s not sure where the hiking theory came from, but investigators don’t think it’s likely Allyson and Garland were hiking in the area.
- At the same press conference, Allyson’s mother, Misty, says Allyson and Garland were visiting a friend on Dec. 22. She said their car broke down, they went to get help and somehow got separated. The sheriff’s office later declines to confirm Misty’s description of events.
- Dec. 27, 2 p.m.: Deputies reveal they are seeking a resident in the search area who may have heard a door knock at around midnight on Dec. 22. They say the homeowner may not have answered the door. If that situation sounded familiar to any resident, they ask that person call the sheriff’s office.
- Deputies also announce they’re looking for a person who gave an iPhone to Allyson’s mother, Misty, at Reedville Café in Hillsboro within the last month. Misty gave that phone to Allyson. Investigators have been unsuccessful with pinging Allyson’s cellphone, and are hoping the original owner of the phone may have cellphone provider information that could potentially help them get location data to find Allyson.
- Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m.: At another press conference, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mark Povolny reveals there is a 30-hour gap between the time Allyson was last seen and when she was reported missing.
- At the same press conference, he said investigators are still unsure as to what happened to Allyson and they are keeping an open mind.
Dec. 28: After an all day effort with between 75 and 100 trained searchers, the sheriff's office calls off an official search. Even though an active search has been called off, the investigation into her disappearance continues, said Detective Mark Povolny.
Dec. 28: Despite the search being called off her mother Misty says “Allyson, I will never stop looking for you. I would like to ask everyone else not to stop looking either. She is a very special girl and she deserves to be looked for.”
Jan. 3: The Washington County Sheriff's Office released a photo of the stolen truck that Garland was driving on Dec. 22, 2019, the day Allyson was last seen.
Jan. 3: A group of about 25 family members and friends of the Watterson family set out in search of any clue into Allyson's disappearance.