Person of Interest Arrested and Charged With Murder of Missing Boy and Mother

May 25, 2019 Updated: May 26, 2019

A man described as a person of interest in the case of a missing mother and child has been arrested and charged with murder.

Michael John Wolfe, 52, was named as a person of interest on May 23. The next day, he was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of kidnapping in the case of missing mother Karissa Fretwell, 25, and her son, William Fretwell, reported KPTV.

According to court documents, Wolfe is the father of the missing boy.

Wolfe’s home was searched as part of the probe into the missing pair on Thursday and on Friday the search for the mother and son continued in rural Yamhill County, Oregon, and included a dive team.

Karissa Fretwell and her 3-year-old son, William “Billy” Fretwell, are missing. (Salem Police Department)

Neighbors of one property that was linked to Wolfe told KOIN that detectives had been there for days.

“Just odd. You see it on the news all the time of somewhere else or a different place, and the next thing you know it’s right next door,” neighbor Randy Ruggles said, according to KOIN.

Another said she’d never met Wolfe until recently.

“I would’ve never guessed. I met him a couple of weeks ago,” said Phyllis Hayes. “He was quiet, nice, just a neighbor saying hi. Had a dog.”

Police officials said the murder charges don’t necessarily mean Fretwell and William are dead.

“We work toward the worst possible scenario and continue to hope for the best,” said Lt. Treven Upkes, KPTV reported.

But Bethany Brown, Fretwell’s close friend, told KPTV that she believes Wolfe killed the mother and child.

“How could he do that to her and him? Little Billy, that’s his son,” Brown said. “I hope he rots in prison for the rest of his life.”

Another friend, Megan Harper, told KGW that she “immediately thought William’s biological father was involved” when she heard her friend and her son were missing.

Court documents show that Fretwell and Wolfe had the child in 2016 and DNA testing ordered by a court after Fretwell filed for it in 2018 proved that Wolfe was the father. Fretwell said Wolfe wouldn’t pay child support, prompting her to file the court order, and the court ordered Wolfe to pay the support and health insurance for William.

Police officials said that Wolfe is currently married.

Fretwell’s family members originally contacted the Salem Police Department on May 17 to file a missing persons report. They said they hadn’t seen or heard from her or her son since May 13.

Fretwell was described as a white female standing 5’9″ and weighing approximately 135 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair that she dyes red.

William was described as a white male standing approximately 3’0″ and weighing about 30 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Salem Police Tips Hotline at (503) 588-8477 and leave a message for Detective Jake Burke. If you know where Fretwell and William are, please call the Salem Police Department non-emergency number at (503) 588-6123.

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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