Bodies Of Missing Oregon Mother, Son Found Weeks After Child's Father Was Arrested For Kidnapping, Murder

Karissa Fretwell and her 3-year-old son Billy Fretwell were found in a remote area over the weekend.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

In a tragic conclusion of a missing persons case, police have recovered the bodies of an Oregon mother and her young son, weeks after the child’s father, a married man, was arrested and charged for his suspected involvement in their disappearance.

Authorities say that the bodies of Karissa Fretwell, 25, and her 3-year-old son Billy Fretwell were found in a wooded, secluded area in Yamhill County on Saturday, The Oregonian reports. Following a post-mortem examination, the state medical examiner concluded that Karissa Fretwell’s death was a homicide, as she was killed with a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the outlet. The child’s cause and manner of death has yet to be determined.

The mother and son had not been seen since May 13; they were reported missing after a family member traveled to their apartment on May 17 and found the door unlocked with the television still on inside, The Oregonian reports. Karissa Fretwell’s glasses and her bank card were still at the scene, but the two were nowhere to be found.

Following their disappearance, Michael John Wolfe was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of kidnapping, according to the Salem Police Department.

Megan Harper, a friend of Karissa Fretwell, has claimed that Fretwell and Wolfe, who is married, were engaged in a custody battle before Fretwell went missing, Portland’s KATU 2 reports. The two engaged in an affair while working at the McMinville steel mill, which resulted in Billy’s birth, Harper said.

The two were not in a relationship, and Fretwell did not know that Wolfe was married until after she’d been pregnant for weeks, Harper told the station. Although Wolfe initially offered to pay for an abortion, he later expressed a desire for custody of the child.

A judge ordered him to pay nearly $1,000 a month in child support the month before the mother and son’s disappearance, KATU 2 reports.

An unnamed babysitter claimed that Wolfe and his wife had begun threatening Fretwell because they wanted custody of Billy, according to The Oregonian.

Police said that the investigation surrounding the mother and son's killing is ongoing, Oregon's KPTV reports. Anyone with knowledge of the case is asked to reach out to the Salem Police Department or call the tip line at 503-588-6050.

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