Authorities in Montgomery County, North Carolina, have announced that they believe they have found the remains of Allisha Watts, a 39-year-old woman who had been missing since July 16. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office stated that Watts’ boyfriend, James Wendell Dunmore, has been taken into custody and charged with one count of murder. This development comes after a month-long search effort involving multiple law enforcement agencies.
Watts’ disappearance had been a cause of concern for her family and friends, but the recent discovery of her remains brings a tragic end to their hopes of finding her alive. Montgomery County Sheriff Keith Herron expressed his condolences to Watts’ family during a news conference, acknowledging that this was not the outcome they had hoped for. However, he also mentioned that the discovery could provide some closure for her loved ones.
Earlier in the day, investigators from various agencies conducted a search in a rural area near the Montgomery-Richmond county line. This search, along with the collaborative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies, led to the transition of the case from a missing person investigation to a homicide investigation, according to Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields.
Watts was last seen leaving her boyfriend’s residence in Charlotte. Two days later, Dunmore was found passed out inside Watts’ car in Anson County, appearing to have survived a suicide attempt. Dunmore, who has a history of domestic violence and had previously served time in prison for kidnapping, was not immediately labeled as a suspect in the case by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. However, he was considered a person of interest.
The investigation into Watts’ disappearance and subsequent murder is ongoing and active. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation, with the support of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, Anson County Sheriff’s Office, Foxfire Police Department, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, FBI-Charlotte, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.