Search suspended for Oregon woman missing since last week originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
The active search for Allyson Watterson, the 20-year-old Oregon woman who was last seen nearly a week ago with her boyfriend, has been suspended, officials with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday night.
Deputy Tony Morris said his department can only search in areas where leads take them, and at this point, it was time to suspend the search.
"We don’t have any more things that are pointing us in an area to search," he told reporters.
Watterson’s mother, Misty Watterson, made an emotional plea for continued help during Saturday night’s media briefing.
“Even though they are not actively searching, we will always search. Allyson, I will never stop looking for you. Never. I’ll never stop,” Misty Watterson said. “And I would like to ask everybody else to not stop looking either. She’s a very special girl and she deserves to be looked for.”
Officials with the sheriff’s office said the investigation into Watterson's disappearance remains active and will continue until they know what happened to her.
Authorities said Watterson was last seen on Sunday, Dec. 22, by a local homeowner. It was not until 30 hours later on Monday, Dec. 23, that she was reported missing by her boyfriend’s father.
Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Benjamin Garland, has not been charged in her disappearance nor has he been named a suspect -- but he has been charged with various unrelated crimes this week.
Garland initially claimed the couple was hiking in a wooded area near North Plains, about 18 miles northwest of Portland, but officials said Friday they don't believe that was the case.
"We do not believe that they were out in this area to hike," Washington County Sheriff's Detective Mark Povolny told reporters Friday night. "How and why they ended up in this area is one of those things we are looking into.”
Povolny said that investigators were concerned about the 30 hours it took Garland to report Watterson missing, and were investigating where she might have been during that time.
“As we’ve said before, that is concerning to us,” Povolny said during Saturday night’s press conference. "[There are] just so many possibilities, and we don’t want to speculate on what those might [be].”
The search for Watterson covered 1,600 acre and thousands of man hours, officials said.