The human remains that were found last weekend in Oregon belong to those of a woman who was reported missing late last year, an autopsy confirmed Friday.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the county medical examiner positively identified the remains as 20-year-old Allyson Watterson, who disappeared in December 2019.
A cause of death has not yet been determined and officials said the investigation will continue in following any tips that come in on the case, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release (pdf).
“The sheriff’s office offers our sincerest condolences to the family as they have faced unthinkable circumstances for the past six months since Allyson was first reported missing,” the release stated. “We’d also like to thank everyone who helped in the extensive search efforts and to those who provided valuable tips and information to our investigators during this time.”
Watterson was reported missing about 30 hours after she was last seen in North Plains and was with her boyfriend, 21-year-old Benjamin Hunter Garland, authorities said. Garland was the one who reported her missing.
A large multi-agency search was conducted in the area following her disappearance but was not successful. Officials did find some of Watterson’s personal belongings in late February, but they didn’t prove helpful to the search.
Watterson’s body was recovered by a property owner while he was clearing brushes near North Plains on June 20, which is located on the northwest outskirts of Portland.
“Based on the location of the remains and evidence found at the scene, detectives suspect the remains are those of Allyson Watterson,” the sheriff’s office said at the time the remains were recovered.
In April Garland was sentenced to prison on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fraudulent use of a credit card, and second-degree theft in cases unrelated to Watterson’s disappearance, officials told Fox12.
Watterson’s mother said they were visiting friends in the area when Garland’s truck broke down. The two then went to look for help but got separated, and Watterson hadn’t been seen since.
Garland hasn’t been named as a suspect in her disappearance.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.