Aggravated murder suspect indicted in case of missing Salem woman, son.

On left, photos of Karissa and William Fretwell, provided by police. On right, aggravated murder suspect Michael John Wolfe of Gaston. (KPTV) 

YAMHILL COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A grand jury has indicted an aggravated murder suspect in connection with the disappearance of a Salem woman and her 3-year-old son.

Michael John Wolfe, 52, of Gaston, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated murder constituting domestic violence and first-degree kidnapping Thursday.

Karissa Fretwell, 25, and her son William, were last seen May 13.

Wolfe was first identified as a person of interest in the case and then a suspect. He was arrested at a doughnut shop in downtown Portland last month after police asked for the public’s help finding him.

Investigators have not revealed a motive in this case, but a probable cause affidavit states Wolfe is "the only known person who would benefit from the disappearance or criminal homicide of Karissa and William."

The indictment states Wolfe, on or about May 13, “did unlawfully and intentionally cause the death” of Karissa and William Fretwell, “in the course of the same criminal episode.”

Wolfe, who is married to another woman, is the biological father of William. Court records show Fretwell filed a court order in 2018 to prove Wolfe was the father. Wolfe was then ordered to pay child support and health insurance for his son, according to a court order that went out in April.

The court documents said Fretwell believed Wolfe wouldn’t pay child support without a court order.

A probable cause affidavit outlined evidence in this case leading to Wolfe’s arrest, including Wolfe’s cell phone records, surveillance video from Wolfe’s workplace in McMinnville and his statements to detectives.

Karissa and William Fretwell have not been found.

Wolfe is scheduled to be arraigned in court June 20.


Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

William R

They might wanna check the ovens and kilns where he works for their remains.

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