No evidence missing Oregon woman was hiking, deputies now say

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Washington County Sheriff’s Office on Friday said it had no evidence that Allyson Watterson and her boyfriend were hiking northwest of Portland near North Plains where she was last seen on Sunday.

The sheriff’s office previously said Watterson, 20, and Benjamin Garland were traversing the woods when they became separated.

That account came from the boyfriend’s father, Don Garland, who reported Watterson missing Monday night, said Deputy Brian van Kleef, a sheriff’s spokesman.

According to van Kleef, Don Garland said he and his son spent that day unsuccessfully searching for Watterson. The two men said they were initially reluctant to make an official report because Benjamin Garland had outstanding warrants for his arrest, van Kleef said.

Don Garland could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Misty Watterson, Allyson’s mother, said Friday that her daughter and Benjamin Garland had been in North Plains to visit a friend when their car broke down.

The two got separated as they left to go get help, Misty Watterson said.

Van Kleef said the sheriff’s office has no evidence of this, either.

“We don’t know what they were doing out there,” said van Kleef. “We certainly don’t have a broken-down car.”

The search for Watterson continues. She was last seen the morning of Dec. 22.

"At that time, she was with Mr. Garland,” Sheriff's Detective Povolny said, according to KOIN. “Early on Monday morning, a different homeowner found Mr. Garland asleep in that homeowner’s truck. And if you fast forward to that Monday night, around 5:30 p.m. is when Mr. Garland’s father called in to report Allyson as missing.”

“That means that there is a delay of about 30 hours from the time that we last know Allyson was seen by that homeowner on Sunday around noon, until Mr. Garland’s family reported her as missing on Monday evening,” said Povolny. “That delay is concerning to us and we’re trying to put together what happened in that intervening time.”

Benjamin Garland this week pleaded not guilty to unrelated charges of theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.