YAMHILL COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - The bodies of a missing Salem woman and her young son were found in a wooded area in remote Yamhill County, partially hidden by debris, according to investigators.
Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry discussed the case Monday, after the bodies of Karissa Fretwell, 25, and 3-year-old William “Billy” Fretwell were discovered over the weekend about 10 miles west of Yamhill.
Berry said the discovery was a result of “good detective work,” but he didn’t say if murder suspect Michael John Wolfe shared information or has been cooperative with investigators.
Berry said investigators believe Wolfe was familiar with the area where the bodies were found, which is private property owned by Weyerhaeuser.
Wolfe was indicted earlier this month on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated murder constituting domestic violence and first-degree kidnapping.
Wolfe is William Fretwell’s biological father. Court records show Karissa Fretwell took Wolfe to court to prove he was the father and he was subsequently ordered to pay child support and health insurance.
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.
An autopsy determined Karissa Fretwell’s cause of death was a single gunshot to the head. The manner of death was ruled a homicide. The cause and manner of the child’s death are still being determined, according to Berry.
An autopsy revealed Fretwell’s death to be a gunshot wound to the head, officials say. They are still waiting for results to come back on 3 y/o William - hoping to get them in the next week or two, DA Berry says.— Tyler Dumont (@TylerDumontNews) June 17, 2019
A gun was recovered during an early search for the Fretwells, according to Berry, but he did not say if investigators believe it was the weapon used in their deaths.
Karissa and William Fretwell were last seen May 13. Berry said it is believed they had been killed by May 16, but did not elaborate on where the killings occurred.
- June 16: Bodies of missing Salem mother, son found in remote area of Yamhill County
- June 7: Aggravated murder suspect indicted in case of missing Salem woman, son
- May 28: Affidavit: Surveillance, cell phone records lead to murder arrest in case of missing Salem woman, son
- May 27: ‘We’re still hopeful’: Friends of missing Salem mom, son host vigil
- May 24: Ex-co-worker says man charged with murder in connection with missing Salem mom and son was ‘odd’
- May 24: Police: Person of interest now charged with murder in connection with missing Salem mom, son.
- Images: Search for missing Salem mother, son
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