Oregon man arrested after the disappearance of the mother, the young son

FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Salem, Oregon, Police Department shows Karissa Alyn Fretwell and her 3-year-old son William “Billy” Fretwell, as they try to get the public to help find them. Authorities in Oregon say they have arrested Michael John Wolfe on the murder and kidnapping charges following the disappearance of Fretwell, and the child, who has not heard of since May 13. The Salem Police department said in a statement Friday afternoon, May 24, 2019, that Wolfe, the child with the biological father, was in custody. (Salem Police via AP, File)

SALEM, Ore. – Police in Oregon arrested a man Friday on suspicion of murder and kidnapping after the disappearance of his wife and their 3-year-old son.

A search continued for the mother and the son, but the police had little hope that they were alive.

Karissa Fretwell, 25, of Salem, and her son William have not heard since May 13.

Michael John Wolfe, the child with the biological father, was arrested at a doughnut shop in the Portland area, Salem police Lt. Pursue Upkes said at a press conference.

Photos of the suspect with a distinctive walrus mustache and thinning brown hair had been published in newspapers and broadcast on TV news.

Wolfe, 52, of Gaston, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of kidnapping, police said.

“Anyone who is involved in this case continues to hope for the safe return of Karissa and William,” Upkes said.

The mother and son were last seen in west Salem, Upkes said. Her family reported them missing when they don’t show up for work, May 17.

Police, including divers, were searching for a rural area southwest of Portland.

“It’s an incredible toll on everyone out there. They work around the clock, following all leads,” Upkes said.

Court papers show Fretwell to the court last year to determine that Wolfe was William’s father. A DNA test verified her claim, and Fretwell then filed a petition seeking more than $1,000 per month in child support from Wolfe, court records show.

Wolfe is married to a woman, the police confirmed.

Upkes said that there are aspects of the case, he could not disclose because the investigation is ongoing. He said: there are no additional suspects.

He said Wolfe might be lodged in the prison in Yamhill County, where the search is performed.

Fretwell’s Facebook page is full of smiling pictures of her and William, including one in the hospital right after his birth. She is a student at Western Oregon University.

In her profile, she wrote: “My son is my world … the Future WANTED to graduate, BIG DREAMER!”

Fretwell sister not immediately return a message sent via Facebook.


Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular