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3-Year-Old Boy and Mother Missing for a Week, Police Ask for Help

By Eva Fu

Salem police are calling for the public to help search for an Oregon woman and her young child who have been missing since May 13.

Twenty-five-year-old Karissa Alyn Fretwell was last seen at work around Sunday midnight in Salem, Oregon, according to Salem Police Department. The concerned family contacted the local police department after she and her 3-year-old son, William (Billy) Fretwell, disappeared for four days.

Fretwell is a white female 5 feet and 9 inches tall, with blue eyes and dyed auburn hair. Billy is about 3 feet in height with blond hair and blue eyes. Fretwell weighs about 135 and Billy weighs 30 pounds, according to the May 19 media release.

Detective Jake Burke is investigating the case.

According to Missing Persons Cases Network, a volunteer organization dedicated to finding those who disappear, the condition at Fretwell’s apartment was “suspicious.” The organization said that Fretwell’s family feared a possible abduction, but were instructed by the police not to disclose further details.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that over 424,000 children go missing annually—an average of over 1,100 per day—in the United States.

Abducted Texas Girl Found With Public Help

The latest child found was Salem Sabatka, a girl aged 8 who was kidnapped in Fort Worth, Texas. An amber alert was issued on May 18 after Salem was kidnapped while taking a walk with her mother on Saturday evening. She was found safe in less than 10 hours thanks to tips from the public.

Salem was snatched from her mother and driven away in a vehicle. The mother tried to fight off the abductor but was thrown from the vehicle, according to the video footage.

The police said that they found the alleged kidnapper with the help of two church members, who spotted the gray Ford 500 vehicle in front of a hotel identical to the surveillance photos that the police released.

“I was live at the scene there on 6th Ave., we had so many people asking what they can do, and we literally told them, just take the pictures we put out and go help us find this vehicle, go help us find Salem, and that’s exactly what happened,” Buddy Calzada, a spokesman at the Fort Worth Police Department, said in a press conference on May 19.

The suspect, described as an “unknown light-skinned black male of skinny build, balding, and no facial hair” in the previous amber alert, faces potential charges of aggravated kidnapping.

“We had citizens that went out of their way and helped not just the police department but a family to put some great closure to what we have going on right now,” Calzada said.

“You guys were a huge asset to helping Salem be found safe.

“We’re a good police department, we work hard, but with you on our side, we’re able to be more effective.”

The police described Salem to be “in a good condition” and said she was with her family at a local hospital, where some medical professionals were looking her over.

In 2018, the NCMEC assisted law enforcement and families with more than 25,000 cases of missing children. Among them, around 92 percent were runaways, 4 percent were due to family abductions and less than 1 percent were non-family abductions.

National Missing Children’s Day, an annual tradition since 1983 initiated by President Ronald Reagan, will be observed on May 25. According to the Office of Justice Programs, the commemoration of the holiday is meant to serve “as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families” and to recognize those who dedicated themselves to safeguarding children’s well-being.