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Man Charged With Murder After Alleged Mistress And The Son They Apparently Had Together Disappear

Friends of Karissa Fretwell say she was embroiled in a custody battle with Michael Wolfe over their son William, while others believe he simply wanted to keep them a secret from his wife.

By Gina Tron

A married man from Oregon has been charged with murder in connection to a missing woman and child, believed to be his mistress and son.

Michael John Wolfe was charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of kidnapping, the Salem Police Department announced on Friday. Meanwhile, the police department is urging the public to help them find Karissa Fretwell and 3-year-old William Fretwell. William is reportedly the son of Karissa and the suspect. 

Karissa and William haven't been seen since May 13.

Although the murder charge suggests the worst, the police are continuing to search for the pair and appear to be optimistic.

“We work toward the worst possible scenario and hope for the best,” Lt. Treven Upkes said at a Friday press conference. “We continue to hope for the safe return of Karissa and William.”

A property in Gaston, a property in Hopewell, and a few bodies of water are being searched, according to Oregon Live.

Karissa’s friend Megan Harper told KATU 2 in Portland that Karissa and the suspect were embroiled in a custody battle over William.

Michael John Wolfe and Karissa Fretwell

“My first thought when she first went missing was that he'd done something,” Harper said. She claims that Wolfe and Fretwell had an affair while they both worked at a steel mill together, which led to William. Court records say Wolfe is the biological father and had recently been ordered to pay more than $900 a month in child support.

“There was never a relationship there. She never knew he was married until after a couple weeks of her being pregnant. Then he offered to pay for an abortion,” she claimed. After Fretwell gave birth, Harper alleges that Wolfe wanted custody of the child.

“That was her fear, him taking her child away,” she told KATU.

Bethany Brown, another friend of Fretwell, told KPTV, that she thinks Wolf was trying to hide the affair from his wife.

"He's married, he has another kid, and he didn't want anything to do with Karissa or Billy. He didn't want his wife finding out about the affair and she did find out, and that's when everything went sour," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salem Police Department tip line at 503-588-8477.